Dec 23, 2009

Christmas Fruit Cake

I remember my dad getting this special fruit cake from the bakeries especially during christmas and new year. They were rich cakes made with dried fruits and nuts and tasted great. I wanted to recreate the fruit cake and this is my attempt to make this delicious exotic fruit cake. It ages well and tastes even better when eaten after about a week.

I made two cakes, we enjoyed one immediately and I have stored the other to be cut on Christmas day!

You can check out last years christmas cake here.

I adopted the recipe from here and I tweaked it a little bit.

Flour - 2 cups
Baking soda - 1 teaspoon
Baking powder - 1 teaspoon
Brown sugar - 1 3/4 cups
Nuts - 3/4 cup chopped (I used almonds, pecans and walnuts)
Dried fruits chopped and soaked in orange juice - 1 cup (I used dried apricots, dates and raisins)
Orange juice - 1 1/2 cups
Cloves - 3
Oil - 3/4 cup
Eggs - 3 large
Boiling water - 1 cup

Soak the chopped dried fruits in the orange juice. I soaked them for a day it could be stored in the refrigerator if storing for about a week.

Now starting with the cake preparation,
In a heavy bottomed vessel take the brown sugar and put it on medium heat.

After about six to seven minutes, it starts to melt and caramelize. Take care it does not burn. This should be done in low or medium heat. All the sugar melts and look like this.

Pour the boiling water slowly into this caramelized mixture. Take care because it splutters. Simmer for about 3 minutes until all the caramel dissolves and forms a thick liquid. Allow it to cool completely.

Sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda together. Add the oil, cooled caramel and eggs and beat together with an electric mixer or using a whisk. Slowly add the flour one cup at a time and beat until combined. Stir in the soaked fruits and nuts and stir until well combined to form the cake batter.

Preheat oven to 190C/375 F.

Pour the batter into a greased baking pan. I used a round cake pan and a loaf pan.

Bake for about 50 minutes until the cake springs back from the pan.

Cool completely on a wire rack. Slice only after it cools completely.

The cake can be allowed to age for a bout a week by wrapping it in an aluminium foil and a cling wrap. It tastes better with time. The cake also freezes well.

Sending this to the following events:
Show Me Your Cake being hosted here in Dil Se..
Desserts, Pastries and Icecreams hosted by Radhika
Cakes and Cookies hosted by Mahimaa
Its time to jingle again hosted by Priyanka

Merry Xmas!!
Sending this to bread mania

Dec 21, 2009

Kadalai Paruppu Kuzhambu / Chana dal curry

This is a different version of chana dal curry. It is a variation from the usual dal made using toor dal. This uses split chana dal or kadalai paruppu as called in tamil. It is a very quick one and can be made in a matter of minutes using a pressure cooker. it goes well with rice and any poriyal or kootu or with some appalams/papads.

Chana dal / Kadalai Paruppu - 1 cup
Coconut(grated) - 1 teaspoon (optional)
Sambar powder - 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste

For the tempering:
Oil - 1 spoon
Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
Urad dhal - 1 teaspoon
Dry red chilli - 1
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Garlic - 1 clove (minced)
Jeera/ Cumin - 1/2 teaspoon
Curry leaves - few

In a pressure cooker add the washed dal along with the turmeric powder and water enough to cover and cook the dal. Pressure cook for about 3 whistles. Open the pressure cooker add enough salt and grated coconut and simmer for about five minutes.

Meanwhile in a saucepan do the tempering adding all the ingredients one by one. Pour the seasoning over the cooked dhal.

Serve with hot rice.

Sending this to MLLA: Eighteenth Helping hosted by Srivalli and started by Susan

Dec 18, 2009

Baked Falafel

This is a healthier version of falafel. I tried baking the falafels in my muffin pan instead of deep deep-frying them. This can make a wholesome meal along with some pita bread and hummus and can be enjoyed without guilt. I got the idea from here

Instead of hummus, I made tzatziki a cucumber-yogurt dip to go long with the falafel. Will post the recipe soon. It was really refreshing and we had a simple and nutritious dinner!


Chickpeas/Garbanzo beans - 1 cup ( to be soaked overnight) or 1 can drained
Onion - 1/2
Fresh Parsley - 1 cup loosely packed
Garlic - 2 cloves
Whole Wheat Flour - 2 tablespoons
Baking powder - 1 teaspoon
Cumin powder - 1 tablespoon
Coriander powder - 1/4 tablespoon
Chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
Olive oil - 2 spoons
Salt and Pepper to taste


Soak the chickpeas overnight in water. It should double in size. Alternatively, you could use the canned ones. Drain the liquid.
In a blender, add all the ingredients together and blend to form a coarse and chunky mixture.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl and cover it with a damp cloth and allow it to rest for half an hour. it would rise a bit.
Take a muffin pan and grease with oive oil or cooking spray.
Take a tablespoonful of the mixture and place in each muffin pan. You can use an icecream scoop for easier shaping. You could also use a cookie/baking sheet instead of the muffin pan alternatively. i used the muffin pan since it gives a good shape to the falafels.
Do not put too much batter in each falafel. Keep it thin so that it turns out crispy.

Bake at 375F in a preheated oven for about 30 minutes, flipping the falafels half way through.
In the final two minutes turn the oven to broiling mode in order to get crispy falafels. Take care they do not burn.

Enjoy with pita n hummus!

Sending this to MLLA: Eighteenth Helping hosted by Srivalli and started by Susan

Other middle eastern recipes in my blog:
Falafel (deep fried version)
Lavash and Falafel Wrap
Cumin Hummus
Piroshki / Pierogi / Potato Pies

Dec 17, 2009

My Blog Roll

This is my blogroll..
Leave a comment if you want your blog to be added here. (Only foodblogs please)
Also please add mine to yours!

A Homemaker's Diary

A Life(Time) of Cooking

A Mad Tea Party

A Portion to Share

A2ZVegetarian Cooking


Aayi's Recipes

Akarma Food


Ambika's Kitchen

Ammupatti's Thoughts



Aparna's Vegetarian Cuisine


Being Chelsea

Beyond Curries

Bong Mom's Cookbook

Carrots N' Cake

Chef In You

Churning the Word Mill

Chutki Bhar Pyar

Cook Like a Bong

Cook with Love

Cookery Corner

Cooking for all Seasons

Cooking Escapades

Cooking with Sugar

Cooking with Swapna

Cooking Maduraistyle

Cooking Pleasures

Cooking Yummy

Cook's Hideout

Curry and Beyond

Daily Cuppa

Delectable Vegetarian Recipes

Diet Spotlight

Dishes from my kitchen

Divine Taste

Easy Recipes

Easy to cook recipes



Edible Garden


Essence of Andhra

Experiments, Emotions, Experiences with Food

Faiza Ali's Kitchen

Flavors and Tastes

Food Goddess

Food Lovers

Food for 7 stages of Life


Foodies Hope

For the Love of Food

Fourth Sense Samayal

From my kitchen to yours

Gita's Kitchen

Gourmet Affair

Health Nut

Holy Cow Vegan Recipes

Home Cook's Recipes

Hometown Seeds

Hot N' Sweet Bowl

I Cook I Post

In Love With Food

Indian Cooking

Indian Vegetarian Cooking

Indulge in the taste

Iyer's Peppers


Jolly Vindaloo




Kavita's Kitchen

Kavithavin kaivannam

Kavya's Kitchen

Kalyani's Kitchen


Kitchen Chronicles

Kitchen Genie

Kitchen Gossip

Kitchen Lab


Love of cooking


Malas Kitchen

Manju's Eating Delights

Masala Vade

Me and My Kitchen

Mom's Recipes

Monsoon Spice


My Cuisine for you

My Diverse Kitchen

My Food Blog

My Home Kitchen

My Kitchen

My Kitchen's Aroma

My Kitchen Treasures

My Scrawls


Nandini Krishna

Nature Kitchen


Nisha's Kitchen

Nivedita's Kitchen

One Hot Stove

Padma's Recipes

Palates and Palettes

Pan Gravy Kadai Curry

Parita's World

Plaintain Leaf

Priya's Easy and Tasty Recipes

Priya's Feast

Ramya Cooks

Recipes for the Everyday Woman


Rekha's Recipe

Ria's Collection

Rice n Spice


Rumbling Tummies

Saffron Trail

Samayal Arai

Sandhya's kitchen


Sanghi's Food Delights

Sara's Corner

Shanthi Krishnakumar's Cookbook

Show and Tell

Simple Vegetarian Recipes

Simply Sensational food

Siri's Corner


Solai's True Chettinad Kitchen

Something's Always Cooking

Spice Your Life

Spice Club

Spicy Chilly

Spicy Tasty

Spicy turnovers


Suju Kitchen

Suma's Cuisine

Sumi's Kitchen

Sunita's World


Taste of Sara's Kitchen

Taste of Sopanam

Tasty Palettes

The Healthiest Habits 

The Kitchen Affaire

The Singing Chef

The Veggie Hut

The Yum Blog

Thoughts on the Freshman

Tiffin Carrier Antiques

Usha Nandhini's Recipes

Vegan in the Sun

Vegetarian Medley


Vidya's Recipes

Weird Combinations

When My Soup Came Alive

Will O The Wisp

Yummy Food

Yummy Odds

Happy Cooking!!

Dec 16, 2009

Show Me your Lunchbox Roundup

Hi everyone! I am here finally with the roundup of the Show me Your lunchbox! event..
Thanks everyone for showing me your lovely lunchboxes. I will never have to think of ideas for lunchboxes hereafter.

Also do send in your cake entries for Show Me your Cake! event..



Cool Lassie





Radhika Vasanth





Lata Raja







Check out the roundups of the previous editions..
Show Me Your Breakfast Part I
Show Me Your Breakfast Part II
Show Me Your Sandwich
Show Me Your Omelette

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