Friday, February 24, 2017

Cinnamon Roll Bun

A must try recipe for those with a sweet tooth.This can be eaten at breakfast or tea time.I have introduced two additional ingredients : jaggery and cardamom to the traditional cinnamon roll bun recipe .The combination of cinnamon , cardamom and jaggery does wonders for your tastebuds.And the sweet aroma of these yummy delights will make you ask for more.Best when eaten warm  alongside a cup of tea

The rich flavours of jaggery,cinnamon and cardamon

For the dough 

4 cups all-purpose flour
 1 tablespoon active yeast
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoon milk powder
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup raisins

Method for making dough

In a large bowl combine the flour, yeast, milk powder,sugar ,salt,  melted butter and the warm water and stir well to combine.knead it well with an electric mixer.When the dough has pulled together, scoop it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic,
Slightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and  cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size about 1 & 1/2 hours.

 Preparing the baking tray ( line the tray with aluminium foil for easy cleaning)

For the base
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup jaggery ( scrapped and melted in the microwave ( 30 secs)
2 tablespoons  cinnamon powder
1 tablespoon cardamom powder

In a pan, melt 3/4 cup butter in medium heat. Turn off heat. Stir in 3/4 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup melted jaggery ,cardamom powder,cinnamon powder whisking until smooth  Pour it evenly  into greased 9x13 inch baking tray. Set aside.

The baking tray lined with aluminium foil and the jaggery- cinnamon mixture

For the cinnamon roll filling.
3/4 cup brown sugar
 2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon cardamon powder
1/4 cup melted butter
Method for the filling-
Melt butter; set aside. Combine 3/4 cup brown sugar,, and mix cinnamon/cardamon powder and  set aside.

Preparation for baking

 Gently deflate the dough ( remember?? Which was kept to rise in a warm place ) and onto a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough  into an 18x14 inch rectangle.
(Herein  make use of the cinnamon roll  filling ingredients )
Brush the rolled out  dough with 2 tablespoons melted butter, press the raisins firmly on the dough. sprinkle with brown sugar ,cinnamon and cardamon powder. Tightly roll up the dough, pinching seam to seal. Brush with remaining 2 tablespoons butter.Cut the roll into 15 pieces; and arrange the pieces in the prepared baking tray. Cover and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in volume.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Bake in preheated oven for 25  minutes, until golden brown. Invert into a serving dish  whilst still warm.  

Press the Raisins firmly into the rolled out dough

Brush with butter and sprinkle with sugar,cinnamon and cardamom

Roll the dough

The cinnamon rolls kept in warm place to double in size

Just out of the oven

Invert the baking tray onto a serving platter 

Indulge in the most delicious and goey buns

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Mock Cheese Cake

Sometimes in the spur of the moment I tend to make something out of the ordinary.When I  create a new recipe ,I usually eyeball the ingredients and the dish emerges as the best I could have ever made.Lately   I have been playing around with custard powder inventing  new desserts which at the beginning became a total disaster but then with a lot of trial and error ,I learnt to use and balance the correct amount of ingredients  to make something  interesting.
I made custard pudding using fresh mangoes and apples , instead of the usual  pudding dish i used a  springform tray to set the pudding in .And what a transformation the springform tray did to my pudding.It had the typical  look of a cheese cake and anyone looking at it would think I had made cheesecake .At least a mock cheese cake to devour on a breezy afternoon.

For a thick  custard pudding ( my mock cheese cake)

1 litre milk
1 cup custard powder
1/2 tin condensed milk
1 small apple grated
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 cup sugar or to taste
1 tsp vanilla essense
A little less than a cup of water

For the pudding base
Tea biscuits to fill a springform baking tray ( single layer)
Hot coffee to dip biscuits ( not to soak)
1 tablespoon sugar

For the topping
2 big juicy mangoes
1 tablespoon sugar

Step 1- Dip the tea biscuits in hot coffee and in a single layer fill the springform tray.keep aside .
Step 2 -Make a thick paste of the custard powder using water.set aside.In a heavy bottom pan,add the milk,condensed milk,sugar and the custard paste and cook till it thickens.Then add the grated apple,lemon zest and the vanilla essense and stir it continuously till the the custard is very thick (the custard should not be creamy but very thick consistency) . Pour the custard into the springform tray and evenly level  it with the help of a spatula .Keep it aside to cool and then refrigerate  to chill.

Step 3 - With your  handy manual  kitchen grater ,grate the mangoes.It will have a kind of pureed consistency . Mix into it 1 tablespoon of sugar.

Remove chilled custard pudding from refrigerator and top it with the fresh  mango puree and refrigerate again for a couple of hours.

To serve, carefully remove the  top part of springform tray  ,place the pudding  on a serving platter with the bottom of the tray still intact.Cut into wedges ( how big the slice is according to your preference).

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

How to make paneer at home.

It has been quite a while that I had been craving to make paneer ,the Indian version of cottage cheese.And today I decided to tantalize my taste buds with the soft and smooth texture of paneer.Paneer can be used in many recipes and my most favourite is the palak paneer , a creamy and savoury dish made with spinach and cottage cheese.Though I have eaten it at parties thrown by friends and at restaurants ,I never got an opportunity to make it at home.But now that I  learnt to make paneer at home I am waiting to get hold of a palak paneer recipe and try it out myself. 


You only need just 2 ingredients to make the Indian version of cottage cheese.Making paneer is  very easy and no hassles whatsoever.Milk and lemon juice are the only ingredients needed.

Pour six cups of wholemilk in a heavy bottomed pan.Bring it to a boil.This must really boil.Then add half a cup of lemon juice to it.Put off the heat.At this stage you will see that the milk is curdled and separated from the whey.Cover a strainer with a clean muslin cloth and drain off the whey.Squeeze out the excess liquid and your cottage cheese is done.The end result will be a soft ,smooth dough.Leave to cool before you eat it or use it out on other recipes. Once its cooled you can knead it and  add your favourite herbs and spices and season it with salt and pepper to give it an extra flavour.

I have added some parsley and chilly flakes to my paneer

Friday, October 21, 2016

Butter Chicken

Today I borrowed a recipe from the internet.I was getting quite  bored cooking chicken my way for quite sometime now.Although I know to cook butter chicken I wanted to try a recipe totally different from what I am usually accustomed too.Hence for a change I tried chef Vah's  butter chicken recipe.You can find the recipe here,which can be easily understood.Unfortunately I didnt have a few ingredients like full cream and garam masala but yet the final product looked good and tasted extraordinarily delicious.Since I didn't have the ingredient called  for in his recipe ,I did use  a substitute.I added  milk powder to the chicken curry instead  of full cream.

If you cannot find cream,go ahead and add milk powder to your butter chicken and  enjoy the distinct taste.Add  a few tablespoons of milk powder to a cup of boiling water ,mix it well and then stir it into the butter chicken  and continue cooking in slow heat till the stipulated time.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Banana Apple Fritters

So far the only recipe I can think of making with  over ripened bananas  are banana fritters.But that didnt stop me from putting  a new spin to my old recipe.Adding some shredded apple and a teaspoon  of lemon zest took  the banana fritters to a whole  new level.I was a bit hesistant to introduce  the new addition  to my old banana fritter recipe ,nevertheless , I gathered some courage and  went   ahead with my decision.I did nt regret adding them as they brought out extra new flavours to it. I wish my daughters were here with me at home to taste it as  they  are my best critics when it comes to  my ' sweet'  dishes.

 Recipe for Banana Apple fritters

Sieve 1 1/2  cups of flour.Mash 5 well ripened  bananas and mix them together..Add a pinch of salt and 1/2 a teaspoon of bicarbonate soda.Add  a little water .( the mixture should be of very thick consistency). Shred a piece of apple to the mixture and throw in a teaspoon of lemon zest.Leave aside for 15-20 minutes.Drop spoonfuls into hot oil and fry till golden brown.Then you soak these delightful fritters in a puddle of jaggery syrup before you enjoy them.

To make the jaggery syrup -

In a pan, add about 250 grams of jaggery to 1 cup of water and bring to a boil.Mix into it, about 3-4 tablespoons of sugar,a few crushed cardamoms and a small stick of cinnaman.Remove from heat , cool and add the fritters.(Remove the spices before your serve)

Sunday, October 16, 2016

How to pamper your taste buds

How we eat is just as crucial as what we eat. That is what I learnt a few days ago while reading an attention-grabbing feature in the Readers Digest. It got me deeply absorbed in the interesting explanation on how we all have a propensity to be imprecise on  the aspect  of eating. This is typically experienced during the festive season when we find ourselves in the midst of a throng of people. At a gathering we could finish a whole plate of food while our concentration is focused entirely on the conversation and  not  on our meal. And then we stare at our empty plate in doubt wondering if we had really eaten it. Given that our attention was more towards the conversation, we were not aware what was shoved into our mouth. As a result we will be consuming more calories. On the other hand, if we eat with awareness we  are more likely to  enjoy the food  with a minimum amount  of calories.
Moreover I was amazed ,reading further into the article, which elaborated how to draw out  maximum pleasure from the food we eat. Take this for instance, when eating a piece of chocolate, pay attention to   the flavors and the texture and take note how they transform as the chocolate melts  in the mouth. Even after  the chocolate has been ingested our taste buds just mull over the sweet essence that take place in the next few minutes.
On the whole, this particular magazine feature  taught me to be mindful of what I eat and  pay close attention to my meal by using all of my senses , whilst  observing the combination of the beautiful colors, the different textures and the extensive assortment that assemble in my plate. And prior to pushing a morsel hurriedly down my throat ,I am encouraged to take a few seconds to inhale intensely the aromas released from the food, appreciate and enjoy the moment. With that perception sharply penetrated in my mind, I succumb to my plate of delicacies.
My tastes buds are already getting tantalized with this scrumptious array of vegetables assembled on my plate.

A typical sri Lankan Meal

A healthy meal - cooked in Sri Lankan style

Monday, October 10, 2016

Cauliflower Tuna Cutlets

This is an easy to make savoury dish.An all time favourite of the young and the old.Instead of the usual potato I added cauliflower .It has a distinct flavour and an earthy taste.This dish is usually in  the spotlight during  family occasions.There's also a reason for me to switch the usual ingredient (potato) from this recipe mainly due to the fact that my husband is on a special needs diet and has been advised by his doctor to avoid potatoes due to its high potassium level.This is also a great recipe for diabetics as cauliflower does nt raise the sugar levels.

Cauliflower Tuna  Cutlets

400gms  tuna fish (canned)
A medium cauliflower ( boiled and cooled )
2 big onions chopped
3 green chilies chopped
3 cloves of garlic chopped
A piece of ginger chopped
A tsp cumin seed
1 tsp pepper seed
1 tsp curry powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
A few coriander leaves
1 carrot chopped
Juice of one small lemon/lime
Salt to taste.
Oil for frying ( I used N-Joy oil)

For coating the cutlets
2-3 eggs

Method for preparing the cutlets
Transfer the canned tuna into a bowl. ( discard the liquid).
Pound the garlic,ginger,cumin and black pepper seeds ,set aside.
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a nonstick pan.
Cook the onions till tender.
Stir in all the pounded ingredients and cook for 1-2 minutes.
Add the green chilly and the chopped carrot.Saute for another minute.
Stir in  the turmeric and curry powder
Now add the tuna, separate the pieces gently and mash with a spatula. Add the lemon juice and salt and mix the coriander leaves.
Transfer this curried mixture into a big bowl and set aside to cool.
Next, remove cauliflower florets ,squeeze out the water and add to the curried tuna .Mix well

Now follow the instructions  below

Using fingers,make  medium sized round patties.Place in the refrigerator for ½ hour.

For Coating the cutlets - Remove the cutlets from fridge.Beat the eggs.Dip the cutlets  in beaten eggs and coat with breadcrumbs.Fry in hot oil

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Garden Salad

A refreshing bowl of salad can be made with vegetables picked  from your garden and when you know how to put together some delicious vegetables and make a basic garden salad, you can add your own twist to it. Vegetables like tomatoes,onions,carrots and radish add taste and colour to the salad.If you are health conscious and counting calories you can eat it as it is or else add your favourite dressing to it and enjoy a scrumptious bowl of pure goodness.

A  meal is not complete without a bowl or a plate of salad.Some love to eat salad anytime and on its own whilst others prefer to add a good amount of protein like chicken or meat. Some vegetables that can be used in your salad :
A combo of salad leaves like iceburg lettuce, romaine lettuce,Cucumber,Onions,Carrots,Raddish,Celery ribs

Here is my plate of salad made  with colourful bell peppers,salad leaves,and cucumber.

I made a dressing with buffalo curd, chopped onions,green chillies,salt and a squeeze of lemon juice and I enjoyed every bite.  crunch,crunch,nom,nom

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Beef Macaroni

A scrumptious pasta dish that will wow your family and friends.


A packet of macaroni (500 gm packet)
1 1/2 lbs beef
2 large onions chopped
4-5 green chilies (remove seeds if you prefer less spicy)
1 medium carrot cubed
A pod of garlic
1 inch ginger
1-2 teaspoons of Cummin seed
2 teaspoons of curry powder or more according to your taste
1-2 teaspoons pepper
Salt to taste
 1 beef stock  cube ( chicken stock cube tastes good too)
1 cup thick Coconut Milk
A few curry leaves

Boil the macaroni according to instructions in the packet with a little salt (drain it and set aside). Wash & cut the beef  into medium sized pieces. Boil the beef  with 2-3 cups of water- with a little pepper  and salt. Once done   set aside (don’t throw the excess liquid).
Pound the ginger, garlic, green chilies  and the cummin seeds (set aside).

In a large pan, heat 2-3 tablespoon of ghee/butter, stir in the chopped onions and the carrot and when it begins to soften , put in the rest of the pounded ingredients (garlic, ginger, green chilies, cummin seeds). Keep on stirring it you get  a nice  aroma (don’t let it brown).

Put in the curry powder ,curry leaves and the pepper and give it a good stir. Add the boiled beef  with the excess liquid into this sautéed mixture and cover the pan with a lid & cook in  moderate heat for 15 minutes. Next add the boiled macaroni. Mix in the beef stock  cube. Cover and cook for further 10-15 minutes. Pour in  the cup of coconut milk and add salt.  Let it simmer for a while .

Serves 6-8 persons

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Fancy Bread Cones

A great recipe to make in a jiffy.

Bread slices, Philadelphia Cream Cheese, chopped cucumber, tomatoes, mustard, two boiled eggs, salt, pepper

1. Cut the corners of the bread slices and flatten them with a  rolling pin.
2. Shape the slices into cones. Press the corners together to keep them firmly intact.
3. In a separate bowl, mash the boiled eggs (eggs should be boiled and kept to cool)
4. Add the Cream Cheese and mustard to it and mix well.
5. Fold in the cucumber and tomato into the mixture.
6. Season with salt and pepper
6. Fill cones with this cheese egg salad mixture.

Decorate as desired.Serve immediately .
This would have tasted even better if   I had baked the bread cones  cooled and then filled  them with the cream cheese mixture. But no one had the patience to wait for an extra five minutes

Flatten slice of bread and make a cone 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Coconut Almond Bars

Recently when my eldest visited us from Dubai, I made her a sweet made from scratch to take back home. Since the ingredients were available in my pantry there was no need to rush to the store.  This is my very own creation and I am glad it turned out well.

2 cups freshly grated coconut
1 cup almond powder
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoon water
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoon sliced almond
A drop each of almond essense, vanilla essense and rose water
1/2 teaspoon cardomom powder
A drop of food colouring (according to your preferences)

Lightly butter a cookie tray and set aside
In a pan, add the water and sugar and let it boil slowly till it turns into a syrup.
Add the coconut, cardomom powder, almond essense and vanilla essense and cook for a few minutes
Next add the almond powder and keep stirring
Add a drop  of food coloring for colour and mix well
Add the condensed milk and almond slices
Continue stirring until the mixture leaves the sides of the pan.
Pour the mixture into the greased tray
Cover with cling film and smoothen it with a rolling pin
Allow to cool
Cut into squares and refrigerate until firm.          

Tuesday, August 16, 2016


Pancakes are ideal for breakfast and the children love it very much. Despite it being a messy task, I love making it. It's funny but quite true that it's almost as though the utensils used are more than the ingredients itself. By the time I wash the dirty pile of utensils and settle down to eat the pancakes, I'm exhausted. But then the other day to my greatest surprise, I found a very unique kitchen hack on youtube. It shows how to make pancakes using only a bottle and a funnel. All you have to do is pour the pancake ingredients one by one into the bottle through the funnel. Tightly close the lid and shake the bottle vigorously till you get everything into a batter consistency. Then heat a non stick crepe pan and make your pancakes.
We recently discovered that our second daughter is gluten sensitive - along with being lactose intolerant. I had to do a lot of research through the internet so that I would know what type of meal I could prepare for her. I experimented with all sorts of flours and milks but nothing seemed to work. It was not until today that, as a first attempt, I tried my hands on corn meal. And I am happy to state that it came out quite well. I used the bottle technique to make pancake batter with cornflour.
In addition to her lactose and gluten intolerances, she had also been avoiding eggs as it caused her abdominal discomfort and bloating. However, through my online findings, I have read that eating egg as it is can cause those problems but incorporating with other ingredients may alleviate it. So I decided to add them as well into the pancake batter. And thank God, she did not experience any side effects.
I also made a syrup with jaggery: made using a sweet substance from palm trees.

Ingredients for cornflour pancake
1 cup corn flour
1 cup almond milk
salt to taste
1/2 tsp baking soda and I added a little water to make it a batter consistency

I used the bottle technique as mentioned above.

Blue berry Muffins  were made using the corn flour pancake recipe .

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Fruit Salad

Apart from being lactose intolerant, one of my daughters has gluten sensitivity so I have to carefully plan what I make for her. A few days ago, we bought some fresh fruits from the super market and it had been in the fridge ever since. I hadn't touched them because we went out of town for a couple of days. Personally I'm not a dessert person but coming back to a fridge full of fruits, I decided to do a fruit salad. Fruit salad is a combination of different fruits chopped into pieces and with a squeeze of lemon juice served chilled or served with whipped cream or ice cream. I love to eat my bowl of fruit salad just as it is without any accompaniment. It's an ideal dessert for the summer. I had a couple of mangoes, kiwi fruits, pears, apples, plums, mandarins and a medium sized papaya.My daughter was full of smiles when she figured out that she could enjoy the bowl of fruit salad without any guilty feelings.

Wash and peel whatever fruits you have in your refrigerator
Cut into small bite size pieces (best if it's cut into the same size)
Toss them into a glass bowl
Squeeze in juice of a lemon
Chill for 2-3 hours so that  the fruits get well blended with its own juices
Serve into individual dessert cups and enjoy
My daughter and I ate it without any guilt

Friday, August 12, 2016

How to make cake made from cake mix taste like home made

One thing I am sure to find in my pantry is a box of cake mix. The reason I buy extras is whenever my children get hungry for home made cake, I just have to grab a box from the pantry, add or switch ingredients and make my own twist to it and la voila, my children are happy to eat an almost homemade cake. All I do to tranform the store purchased mix  into home made one is to play with the cake mix and try to enhance the look and flavour so that it gives a more home-baked taste. Here are some things I add to replace the ingredients to be used as per instructions  in the box; I substitute milk or orange juice for water. I add half a cup of mashed bananas to a vanilla or yellow cake mix to get  a taste of banana cake. Sometimes,just before placing the cake mix batter into the oven I  add chocolate chips to get a shiny finish and throw in some crushed walnuts or pecans to bite into.once it's done,the aroma fills the whole house inviting everyone into the kitchen.
Here I have made a pineapple upside down cake with a pound cake micx

My son helping me with the batter

To this strawberry cake mix I added choco chips.It tasted great

Sunday, July 31, 2016

No Bake Pomegranate Cheese Cake

Pomegranate Cheese Cake (no bake)

For crust:
2 cups crushed biscuits
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter melted

For the Cheese cake
1 sachet (.25 oz.) unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold milk
2 pkgs. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup yoghurt
1 cup icing sugar
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, (whipped)
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For garnishing -pomegranate seeds

  1. Combine crushed biscuits and butter in a bowl .Mix well. Firmly press onto bottom of a spring form pan. Dissolve gelatin in warm water. Let it stand for a minute.
  2. Beat cream cheese, yoghurt and icing sugar in a mixer bowl until fluffy. Mix in the gelatin,lemon zest and vanilla extract.Gently fold in the whipped cream. Remove the crust from refrigerator and pour the cheese cream mixture onto crust. Chill again for about 4 hours or until firm. Remove side of springform pan.
  3. Garnish with pomegranate seeds.Serve and Enjoy

Friday, June 27, 2014

Okra Curry

We all love Okra in all forms.This is an easy recipe which will definitely impress the whole family.


200 gram okra
1 tablespoon ginger/garlic paste
a) 1 teaspoon coriander powder
b) 1 teaspoon curry powder
c )½ turmeric powder teaspoon
d) ½ teaspoon chilly flakes
 1 tomato  finely sliced
¼ teaspoon mustard seed
½ teaspoon fennel seed
A few curry leaves
1 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoon oil
Salt to taste
Par boiled cauliflower  4-5 florets (optional)

Wash okra and drain  then set aside.Heat oil in pan and fry the onions till light golden.Add the ginger,garlic,mustard seed and the fennel seeds and fry for 2 minutes.Now mix in  the  spices ( a,b,c,d) and stir well.Add the okra and fry slightly.Mix in the sliced tomatoes and cook till the okra and tomato softens.Add the curry leaves and salt to taste.At this stage you can add the boiled cauliflower( optional) Cover with a lid and cook till the vegetable get tender.Add coconut milk and simmer for a few minutes.


Monday, June 2, 2014

Cooking Vegetables

Basically all the vegetables cooked at home are prepared in the same way.The basic ingredients will be onion,garlic,curry leaves,mustard seeds,curry powder,turmeric powder,coconut milk.Optional ingredients would be Maldive fish flakes and tomato.Ingredients  could be adjustable and should be used according to preference and taste.You could increase the quantity of the ingredients accordingly.Increasing or decreasing the amount of spices  depends on  your taste buds

For  cooking vegetables this is the procedure that I follow-Sautee onion with a little oil,add crushed garlic,chilly flakes,mustard seed curry leaves.Mix in the  curry powder and turmeric.(If you want to add the optional ingredients ,do it at this stage and cook till soft).Put the desired vegetable and add a little water.Salt to taste.Cook till tender.Add thick coconut milk.Simmer and serve with rice and curry.

Sweet potato

Beet Root

Green Beans

Drum Stick

Friday, May 30, 2014

Low Fat Dessert

Being a diabetic,I decided to create a dessert so that it  will not bring about a spike in my sugar levels.This is a low fat,low  carb dessert,which I created recently.I used jaggery and date paste for mild sweetness.It is very light and healthy.All the same,eating in moderation is recommended.

10 gram  agar agar china moss/grass
1 litre low fat milk
½ cup jaggery scrapped
1 cup date paste
½ tsp cardamom powder
A few nuts shredded ( optional)
1 1/2  cups water

Wash and soak the china grass in water.Add milk and bring to a boil.Mix in the jaggery,date paste,cardomom.Keep stirring till the jaggery melts.Strain the contents into a pudding dish.Sprinkle shredded nuts.(optional) Keep in refrigerator to cool Cut into squares or desired shape and enjoy.