Thursday, October 30, 2014

Custard Powder Halwa

Hey guys! Hope you all had a wonderful Diwali with your loved ones!!

 H & I had a blast; visited temple, exchanged greetings over phone with loved ones back in India, met my friends over here and exchanged sweets/savories.

Speaking of sweets, remember I told you the menu  that was decided for Diwali? Well, I altered it at the last minute(sooo ME). So the new menu included murukku, custard powder halwa(no prizes for guessing), bread/rusk ladoo and Karachi halwa.

So, every time I make this Karachi/cornflour Halwa, I fail miserably to attain the glossy texture. I have made twice, once on stove-top and once in micro-wave No LUCK!

It does taste yummy, its just the glossy texture which was not attained. I consulted a lot of people, and derived that the people in US are the ones who aren't getting the glossy texture.

So I figured corn flour is the culprit, which didn't have enough corn starch or whatsoever to attain the desired texture.. I scheduled an immediate brainstorming session with the members of pantry and Miss Custard powder said 'try me, I have enough cornstarch in me' I was like Why NOT?!
Tried the exact same process, just substituted corn flour with custard powder and it works like a charm! 
Also, Custard powder halwa > Cornflour halwa
because the custard powder already has color and flavor in it. Its one of the easiest & foolproof recipe for Diwali or any other festival/occasion. You can whip it up in less than 15 minutes, you guys!!

Here's what we need

  • custard powder(any flavor, I used mango flavor)- 1 cup
  • sugar - 3 cups
  • water - 4 cups
  • ghee - 5 tsp
  • cashews - 12 to 15

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

6 Ways To Make /Save Money This Holiday Season

The Holiday season is just around the corner! Ready or not, it will soon be time to get the shopping list on. Planning on the gifts for our near and dear ones is always exciting after all it is the ‘SEASON OF SHARING’! But as exciting as it gets, it is already time to keep an eye on all our expenses, save some for the holidays and be prepared for the shopping spree.

Here are few ways you can make/save money for the holidays. I can never promise you quick money or a big chest of treasures, but hey, every little helps!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Egg-less Butter Cookies

A cookie monster once said, “Sometimes me thinks, ‘What is a friend?’  And then me say, ‘Friend is someone to share the last cookie with!’ "

 And guess what, not just the last cookie but I made a whole batch of these just for my friends!

 Aww… that’s sweet of me, right? I know! It was a “why not bake a cookie’ kinda day.I was meeting my girls that evening and so it turned out to be “why not bake some cookies for my friends’ kinda day! I hope they liked it as much as I did. 

 It is super easy to make and requires just the basic of ingredients and…. they are egg less. So let’s get started.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Rava Kesari

Rava Kesari is a popular and delicious Indian sweet yet very easy to make. I think rava kesari doesn't require more intro....Ok let me move on with the recipe :)


  • Rava/ Sooji - 1/2 cup
  • Sugar - 1 cup
  • Ghee - 1/4 cup 
  • Water - 1 1/2 cup
  • Cashew nut - 6-7 nos
  • Cardamom powder - a pinch 
  • Kesari Color(food color) - a pinch 
  • Salt - a pinch 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Baked Murukku/Chakli

Diwali/Deepavali, 'the festival of lights' is just around the corner & I'm sure you all must be busy cleaning/shopping/ preparing sweets and savories, so am I 
                          Cooking - just decided the menu

Last year for Diwali, the menu
(for sweets &savories) was
savory : Ribbon pakoda/murruku, mullu murukku

This year I'm planning to make 

sweet : Rava ladoo, Karachi halwa , Gulab jamun
savory : baked rice flour murukku  

Planning to make some baked  potato chips too if time permits. I'm not very sure if its legit to make potato chips for Diwali.. But I'm thinking, why not?  Let me be the trend-setter. LOL

Ok not much time to chat today, got to go make all these goodies. So lemme quickly give you guys the recipe. 

Before that, did u notice that I'm baking the chaklis? we're gonna use just 1 tsp of oil guys!! And you won't believe, it turned out as good as the fried ones.. Very crispy n tasty... I'm never gonna deep-fry chaklis anymore! I suggest you guys to try this too 


1 cup rice flour
1/2 cup yogurt
1 tsp red chili powder  
1 tsp oil
a pinch of asafoetida(hing)
salt to taste

Friday, October 17, 2014

Diwali Treats

Diwali is always a grand affair in India. It is more like what Christmas is to the Christians.
A riot of everything happy and cheerful; of lights and fireworks!
A day of food, festivities and grandeur.

Have you ever seen children eager to wake up way before the sun rises.. excited to have bath and fight to be the first one to get all ready? No? You should totally visit Indian homes during Diwali to witness such a scene.  

Thenkuzhal Murukku

I give up! Not all regional food can be translated to English or any other language. Even if we do, it would not do full justice to the food. One such Tamil snack is ‘Then-kuzh-al’. This is made a festive food as it requires deep frying and not every day you would like to deep fry them. But if you do not mind the frying process, you can even enjoy them as your evening snack. No one can ever stop you from that.And if you love crispy snacks, you should totally try this one.The picture might not be attractive but the taste sure is!

There are gazillion varieties of murukkus(like this mullumurukku that I posted sometime back). One simple change in each of the recipe will give huge difference and variation in taste.The process is the same for all - prepare the dough, insert the dough to the murukku maker, press them to hot oil for deep frying! The only difference is in the dough and the attachment you choose for your murukku maker.

Om Podi/Besan Flour Noodles

They say, "Pictures say a thousand words" or "Pictures speak louder than words"! But know what, I completely disagree when it comes to food. Food can never be described completely in words or pictures but can only be tasted,felt and enjoyed. This is by no means a justification for the 'not-so-great' pictures of my post, but I really really mean it.Still don't trust me? Pinky promise, I say! You got to trust me now.

So 'Oma Podi' is another classic Tamil savory snack. Those of you who know 'Sev' or 'Bhujia', you are close. They are all cousins in the family of Indian snacks. And  my other non Indian friends out there, how can I miss ya! You can call them Chickpea/Gram flour noodles.This is again a deep fried goodie (yes, we love deep fried goods.) It is super easy to make and the pictures did not turn out as much as I wanted it to be, but that should not stop me from sharing the recipe with you, right? As Diwali is nearing, who would want to miss on such a simple recipe.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

3 Ingredient Mango Mousse

All you gorgeous fellow mango lovers out there, this post is for you.. 
Okay! First things first....Promise me you'll tag me on Instagram/Facebook if you make this.. Promise? Okay then

                                                                       Stop ogling!!

I made this once for a potluck party and everyone seemed to love it. Its creamy, fluffy, mango-ey flavor are sure to please.. I wanted to make this mango mousse for my friend who was visiting me. 
A mango/dessert lover myself, was yet again delighted by an excuse to make this easy peasy, yummlicious mango mousse. 

All you need is heavy cream, mango pulp and sugar to create this yummy treat. 
The beauty of the recipe is that it’s incredibly easy and can be made in a jiffy if you are having unexpected guests. Here’s how I do it!

Ingredient serves 2

1 cup heavy(whipping) cream
1.5 cup mango pulp (I used canned pulp)
3 tbsp sugar (adjust to your taste)

  • Take heavy cream and sugar in a bowl n whip it to soft peaks. 
  • Add mango pulp and whip it again till evenly mixed. 
  • Refrigerate it for minimum 30 mins. 

Garnish with nuts/ saffron strands/ fresh mango cubes


 You made a promise, remember? Tag us on instagram / twitter / facebook.

Linking this post to :
Hearth n soul bloghop

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Sabudana Kheer/Sago Milk Pudding

It was one of those “grumpy for no reason” kinda day! The whole day was just gloomy. Then came home the husband and in no time, there was this magic spell that brightened my day completely! I was all smiles and happy!

Wait, I am talking about a sweet box that he brought along with him :D. The boss at work had given him Milk Pudding as Bakrid treat. Being the ‘no dessert’ guy and umm.. well, let me give him the credit, a sweet husband that he is - he has brought the box for the wife who can eat desserts even as meals.

One spoon of the creamy kheer was enough for me to get lost in its divine and rich taste. When I came back to reality, my day was all colored. It was like the “I am feeling lucky” on Picasa. One touch and all fixed!  And so that made me want to try Sabudana Kheer. It turned out equally good and here is the recipe for you.

Friday, October 10, 2014

11 Hacks Every Girl Should Know While Packing For Vacation

I always look forward to travelling new places, breathing in its beauty and…. Oops, I just forgot that there is something I don’t look forward to at all – PACKING!!! I know it is exciting to even just think of travelling our dream vacation but…. packing for that dream vacation?? Total Nightmare!

I have always wondered how Phileas Fogg packed before he set to travel the world in 80 days (Around the world in eighty days book). I would have needed eighty days just for shopping and packing if I were to take on some venture like that.

So to make packing and travelling LITTLE easier, here are few hacks that I have personally used/read about it while browsing and felt, "Oh, that is genius!".Either ways, I am sure it will be of help to you!


I know this is such a pain in the neck for all you lovely ladies out there. So here it is for you –

Monday, October 6, 2014

DIY Travel Wallet

Hey y’all! I always keep my promises and so, as promised in my last DIY (No-Sew Clutch), here is the tutorial of the DIY travel wallet.

I made this for my mom and she found it really handy while travelling from US to India. Do you know that US-India is one of the most exhaustive and tiring travel? Oh yea, it takes almost 20 hours with one transit in between!Okay, that is totally a different story. So let me get back to the wallet. You can use this to hold your passport, boarding pass and urgent cash/card/IDs and the best part is it is water-proof! 

So,what are you waiting for? Let’s get started!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Paneer Tikka Pizza

I love Paneer Tikka and I love Pizza, so thought I should introduce these two and guess what happened?? They fell in love at first sight and they are happily married and honeymooning in my mouth. hahhahha.. 

I'm typing out this post as I am stuffing this pizza in my mouth, so excuse me if I don't make any sense ok? Okayy.. I guess I'm high on cheese or is it paneer.. guess its the pina colada smoothie... Ok off to recipe now....*licking fingers*

                              I'll update with the better pic, promise!!

Ok I'm stable now guys... so here is the ingredient list.. 

Also, this time I got the pizza base from Sams Club, so the entire process just got easier!! You can make your own pizza crust too!! 


Pizza base- 1 large
Cheese (Mozzarella) - as desired

For  Tikka

150 grams Paneer(cubed)
4 tbsp Yogurt
1/2 bell pepper(any color, diced) 
1/2 onion (chopped into bite size)
1 cup pineapple(diced) *optional
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1  tsp red chili powder
1/2 coriander powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp garam masala 
1/2 tsp chaat masala *optional
1/2 tsp juice of lemon
salt as required


1. Whisk the yogurt in a bowl till creamy. Add ginger garlic paste, salt, lime juice and mix well.
2. Add the spice powders and mix well..  Taste it and adjust the salt/ spice powders.
3. Add the cubed paneer , pineapple & diced veggies to the yogurt marinade.
4. Fold in gently so that the paneer & veggies are evenly coated with the yogurt mixture.
5. Keep it aside for 1 hour in room temperature. Refrigerate it if you are planning to keep it for more than 1 hour.

 Now comes the assembling part

My pizza base came with pizza sauce on it. If you are making you own base, then apply a coat of pizza sauce evenly.

6. Preheat the oven to 375 deg F atleast 15 minutes before you start baking.
7. Top the pizza with marinated paneer n veggies.
8. Sprinkle generous amount of grated cheese on top.
9. Bake the pizza in the oven for 18-20 minutes or until the crust is cooked.
10. Remove the pizza and serve hot 

linking parties mix-it-up-monday|

Thursday, October 2, 2014

DIY No Sew Clutch

Sigh! I know I should not be beginning a blog post with a sigh. But hey, my parents left back home (India) after their two months of vacation in US and it is not even a week but I miss them already. So the sigh!! 

Apart from the regular gifts for friends and family, I wanted to make my own gift to my mom, sister and mom in law. With all the travelling and tourism, I was left with very little time to make something nice for them. So it may not be anything extravagant but it was made with heaps and heaps of love! That is all that matters, right? Right!!

A travel case for my mom to keep her passport, boarding pass and money safe and handy during the travel.

A simple clutch for my darling sister and mom in law!

 I will be sharing the tutorial of the travel case shortly. Meanwhile, here is the tutorial for the clutch.

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