Monday, December 31

Plum/fruit cake

Wish You all a very happy and prosperous NEW YEAR!!!!!
Back in India , during Christmas we used to receive plum cakes as gifts from our friends.Thought I would give it a try this year... Its the first time Iam baking this cake.... I followed the recipes of RP, and Mishmash and the cake turned out really great. Mishmash's recipe was classic and was very useful. Its completely their recipe and just for my own records I have blogged it.

All purpose flour- 1 cup
sugar- 1 cup
butter- 1 stick
dried fruits-(dates, raisins, dried cherries,plums,pears, prunes and apricots)- 1 cup
dried nuts-(almonds, cashews and walnuts) 1/2 cup
baking powder-1 tsp
baking soda-1/2 tsp
salt-1/4 tsp
vanilla extract -1 tsp
candied lemon and orange peels- 1tbsp
spice powder(cinnamon, nutmeg,clove and dry ginger)- 1 tsp(I used the ready made one)
Rum or Brandy- 1/2 cup or grape juice- 1/4 cup and orange juice- 1/4 cup
For caramelising
sugar-1/4 cup
water - 1tbsp + 1/2 cup


Chop the dried fruits and soak them inRum /Brandy or grape and orange juice for a few hours.
Add 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tbsp water in a sauce pan and allow it to boil. Do not stir it and after a few minutes ,the sugar syrup changes to a cherry wood coloured caramel.Remove the pan from fire immediately ,keep under sink and add 1/4 cup of water to it. Be very careful as the caramel is very hot and it may splash. Let it cool completely. Add the vanilla essence to it.
Powder the sugar, chop the nuts and bring the eggs and butter to room temperature.
Sift the flour, baking powder,baking soda and salt. Add the spice powder to it and mix well.
Seperate the egg whites and yolks. Beat the whites until soft peaks are formed. keep aside .
Beat the powdered sugar and butter in a mixing bowl till light and fluffy.Now add the egg yolks to it one by one and beat well until the mixture is creamy.
Add the sifted flour and the caramel to it and mix well. Add the beaten egg whites and fold them in gently .
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the cake pans with parchment paper and butter and dust them.
Now its time to add the chopped nuts and the soaked dry fruits to the cake mixture. Fold them gently into the cake batter. Spoon them into the greased cake pans and bake them for 50 minutes to 1 hour. The cake is ready when a toothpick inserted into it comes out clean.
Cool completely before storing it.

Monday, December 17

Rava Kesari


Rava/sooji- 1 cup
Sugar- 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups
water- 1 1/2 cups
milk- 1/2 cup
ghee- 4 tbsp
cashews- a few
Raisins- a few
cardomom powder-1/4 tsp
kesari colour/orange food colour-a pinch


Heat 3 tbsp of ghee in a pan and fry the rava for a few minutes till a nice aroma comes out. keep aside.
Boil the water and milk with the food colour and add rava to it slowly by stirring continuously , so that no lumps are formed.
Add sugar and mix well. By this time the rava would have been almost cooked and so reduce the flame and keep stirring in between.
In another pan heat 1 tbsp of ghee and add cashews and raisins. Fry till golden brown and pour over rava mixture. Sprinkle cardamom powder and mix well.
Kesari is ready to serve.


I used the fine semolina variety. If u are using the regular sooji, then add 3 cups of milk+water.

Monday, December 3

Vazhaipoo kuzhambu (Banana flower/blossom curry)

This is a simple and easy to prepare kuzhambu prepared with banana blossom ,which is a very healthy vegetable and has lots of medicinal properties too. This is my MIL's recipe and I love to share this with you all.


Vazhaipoo(banana flower/blossom)-1
onions- 2 medium sized
green chilli -1 slitted
coconut milk- 3/4 cup( If using canned coconut milk just use 4 tbsp)
chilli powder- 1 tsp or acc to taste
coriander powder- 1 tsp
jeera powder- 2 tsp
oil- 4-5 tsp
salt to taste


Wash the whole blossom in water and start peeling the outer purple layers and the flowers inside them.
Keep on peeling the layers. The color of the purple cover will change to a pale hue and the flowers will become more tender as you reach the inner part.
Collect these tender flowers and keep peeling the layers till whole blossom becomes small enough to hold in ur palm.
Slit the blossom vertically into two.
Soak the blossom and the flowers in yogurt water to pervent it from turning brown.
Heat oil in a pressure cooker/pan and fry the chopped onions and green chilli. When the onions turn transparent add chilli,coriander and jeera powders. Fry for a minute and add the coconut milk and 1/2 cup of water to it.
When the coconut milk boils add the banana blossom along with the tender flowers. Check salt and pressure cook for one whistle.
Serve hot with rice.


Cleaning the flower takes time and will make ur nails dirty. Apply yogurt or cooking oil or wear gloves in ur hands and clean them.
The peeled flowers before the tender stage can be used to make poriyal.
You can make mushroom and cauliflower kuzhambu too by follwing the same method.