October 20, 2016

Mexican Corn Bread

Our family moved to Southern Maryland in 1997 but we lived there for less than a year before we moved to Northern Virginia.  During my time there I had the opportunity to work as the Curriculum Specialist at "The Seafarers Harry Lundeburg  School of Seamanship" for about six months.  This was the most fun job that I have ever had and it was a wonderful experience!  I enjoyed gourmet lunches every day as I updated the school's website with recipes, menus, and an online cookbook for chefs embarking on a seafaring career.  It was there I met the Director of Culinary Education, Chef Allen Sherwin who gave me so many recipes and tips on baking and cooking.  He gave me this recipe for Corn Bread and since then it has always been a family favorite!

Mexican Corn Bread

Corn meal - 1/2 cup
All purpose flour - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 1 tbsp
Baking powder - 1 tbsp
Eggs -2 whole
Butter melted - 1/4 cup
Milk - 1/4 cup
Jalapenos  pepper diced - 2 tsp
Onion fine diced - 1/4 cup
Olive Oil - 1 tbsp
Red pepper diced - 1 tblsp
Corn fresh/frozen - 1/2 cup
Cheddar cheese - 1/4 cup

1.  Mix corn meal, flour, sugar, baking powder together and sift.
2.  Mix eggs, milk, melted butter together.
3.  Saute jalapenos, onion, and red pepper with a tbsp of olive oil
4.  Mix all ingredients together.  Do not overmix.
5.  Bake in a greased pan or muffin tins at 425F for 20 to 30 minutes till toothpick comes clean.

August 14, 2016

Black forest Cake

Black forest cake is originally a German dessert literally "Black Forest cherry-torte".   It is a chocolate sponge cake with layers of light whipped cream and garnished with grated chocolate and cherries.  This recipe is the Indian eggless version which I had from awhile ago which I tried.


For the cake:
Condensed Milk - 1 can
Powdered Sugar - 1& 1/2 cups
All purpose flour - 2 &1/2 cups
Melted butter - 1&1/2 cups
Cocoa powder - 1/2 cup
Baking powder - 1 tbsp
Coke - 1&1/2 tin

1.  Combine condensed milk, sugar, melted butter.
2.  Mix the all purpose flour, cocoa powder, baking powder in a bowl and add to milk, sugar & butter.
3.  Add the  coke and beat on low till there are no lumps.
4.  Bake in 2 cake pans at 400F for about 20 minutes till toothpick comes out clean.
5.  Level the cake and let it cool.

For the Frosting:
Whipping cream - 12 oz
Powdered sugar - 6 oz
Chocolate grated - 
Simple syrup - 1 cup
Candied Cherries - a few

1. Beat the whipping cream and sugar with a hand whisk or kitchenaid mixer whisk attachment till it form peak.
2. To make simple syrup add 1/3 cup sugar and 2/3 cup water and boil.  As soon as sugar melts turn off the heat and cool it.

To assemble the cake:
1.  Drizzle the simple syrup on the cake.
2. Spread whipping cream like sandwich on the two sheets of cake.
3.  Using a star nozzle put the whipping cream on the top of the cake.
4.  Sprinkle with grated chocolate.
5.  Decorate with candied cherries.

August 10, 2016

Jackfruit Bread

Jackfruit has a distinctive sweet and fruity aroma.  I have tried many recipes with this fruit as I love the sweet and fruity aroma.  I tried making bread with it and it was a huge success with my family and friends.
Jackfruit Bread

Bread flour - 3 cups
Jackfruit - 10 pieces
Butter - 2 tbsp
Coconut milk - 1/2 cup
Skim milk - 1/2 cup
Brown sugar - 1/4 cup
Cardamom powdered - 1/4 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Yeast - 3 tsp
Raisins - 3 tbsp
Chopped cashew and almonds - 3 tbsp


1.  Blend five pieces of jackfruit in milk.
2.  Add the blend jackfruit, coconut milk, butter, brown sugar, cardamom powder, salt in the bread machine.
3.  Add the bread flour and yeast.
4.  Start the bread machine in the mix bread cycle.  If necessary add a tsp of milk.
5.  In the meantime chop the other five pieces of jackfruit.
6.  Make sure the dough is smooth and elastic.
7. When the machine beeps add the chopped jackfruit, raisins, chopped nuts.
8. Cool completely and cut slices.

July 22, 2016

Guacamole Bread

Guacamole is a dip and made with avocado as the main ingredient.  The other ingredients used in this are onions, hot peppers, tomato, garlic, lime juice and cilantro. This Mexican recipe inspired me to experiment with guacamole flavor bread.

Guacamole Bread


Bread flour - 2 cups
Avocado - 1 ripe
Roma tomato - 1 small chopped
Onion - 1/4 of a medium size chopped
Cilantro - 3 tsp chopped
Garlic - 2 cloves crushed
Sour cream - 3 to 4 tsp
Jalopeño - 1 chopped
Salt - a tsp 
Sugar - 1 tbsp
Pepper powder - 1/4 tsp
Sundried tomatoes - 3 tsp
Lime - juice of half 
Avocado oil - 3 tbsp
Yeast - 2 tsp

Bread Machine Method:
1.  Place sour cream, tomato chopped, avocado scooped, salt, sugar, lime juice, pepper powder, avocado oil in the bread machine.
2.  Add the bread flour and yeast.  
3.  Start the bread machine in the mix bread cycle.  If necessary add a tsp of liquid.
4.  The dough should be smooth and elastic.
5.  In the meantime saute the onions in a tsp of oil.
6.  When the machine beeps add the onions, sun dried tomatoes, chopped cilantro, chopped Jalopeño.
7.  Cool completely when done and cut slices.

June 24, 2016


Sajjappa is a traditional Indian dessert.  My mom was an expert in making this dessert.  Unfortunately I did not get her recipe but I had seen her making it.  I am using my friend Uma's recipe.  She is an expert in making all kinds of savories and desserts.


For the outer layer dough:
All purpose flour - 1 and 1/2half cups
Melted hot ghee/oil - 2 tblsp
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Salt - a pinch
Water - to make the dough

For the filling:
Semolina coarse variety - 1 cup
Fresh grated coconut - 3/4 cup
Dry coconut powder - 3/4 cup
Jaggery - 1 cup powdered or little more depending on the sweetness of
Cardamom powdered - a pinch

Oil - to fry Sajjappa

For the outer layer dough:
1.Mix all purpose flour, turmeric, salt and hot melted ghee/oil to make a crumbly texture and the ghee/oil is spread on the entire mixture.   Add water gradually.
2.  Knead well for about five minutes till it is a soft and pliable dough.
3.  Put a few tsps of oil on the dough and set it to rest for a couple of hours in a covered container.

1.  Roast the semolina for a few minutes so the raw odor is not there.
2.  Melt the jaggery in a wide vessel with a few tsp of water and when it melts strain the jaggery it to clean the dirt and boil a little and turn of the heat.
3.  Turn off the heat add the roasted semolina, fresh grated coconut, dry coconut, cardamom powder.
4.  Make lemon size balls with greased hands.  If it is sticky cook for a minute more.
5.  Cool completely.

Making Sajjappa:
1.  Heat the oil in a kadai on medium heat.
2.  Make lemon size balls from with the dough and flatten it on a plastic paper and keep the filling and make sure to seal the edges completely.
3.  Now flatten the dough with the filling inside to make sure the filling does not come out.
4.  It should be thicker 3 inch discs
5. When the oil is heated gently slide the sajjappas in oil and fry both sides till golden brown on both sides.
6.  Serve warm sajjappas.

March 17, 2016

Spinach Chappatis for St. Patrick's Day

Chapati is a flatbread made with whole wheat flour and cooked on a tava (skillet). March 17th is St. Patrick's Day and for this occasion I tried making shamrock patterns with chapati dough and spinach mixed chapati dough to make it festive.
Spinach Chapatis

Plain chapati:

Wheat flour - 1 cup
Yogurt - 2 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Water - to make dough

Spinach chapati:

Wheat flour - 1 cup
Spinach - a handful 
Green chillies - 2
Ginger - 1 inch
Salt - to taste
Water - to make dough
Olive oil - for roasting chapatis

1.  Mix the ingredients for the plain chapati and make a soft pliable dough.  It should be elastic, soft and smooth dough easy to roll.
2.  Blend spinach, ginger and green chillies with very little water and add this to the other other of ingredients the wheat flour and salt.  Make a smooth and soft dough.
3.  Roll the spinach chapti dough thin with a rolling pin and cut out the desired shape with a sharp knife.
4.  Roll the plain chapati dough to a cirle.  Place the cut out shapes of the spinach chapati dough and gently roll so it fuses with the plain chapati.
5.  Place it on a hot griddle and cook.  Apply oil and cook and flip to turn to cook on the other side till there are golden brown spots.
6.  When it is cooked keep it covered in a container.

March 7, 2016

Custard Halwa

Custard halwa is a very easy to prepare dessert.  I adapted this recipe from my friend on the "Foodie" group.  

Custard Halwa


Custard powder - 1/2 cup (Vanilla flavor)
Sugar - 1 & half cups
Water - 2 cups
Ghee- 3 tbsp + 1 tsp for greasing
Cashew nuts - 12 chopped
Almonds - 6 coarsely powdered for garnish
Cardamom powder - a pinch


1. Take a pan, add in custard powder, sugar, and water. Stir well so no lumps are formed.
2. Keep stirring continuously on high heat till it is thick.
3. Add a tbsp of ghee and keep stirring..
4. After a few minutes add another tbsp of ghee and mix well.
5. It will get thick and not stick to the pan. Add in another tbsp of ghee.
6. When the halwa will leave the sides and the ghee oozes out add in chopped cashews, cardamom powder and mix well.
7. Spread the halwa on a greased pan and let it cool.
8. When it is set, invert the plate to a flat baking sheet or cutting board and cut to desired shapes.

February 14, 2016

Poha Chivda

Poha Chivda is a popular snack of Bangalore.  It is a healthy snack with a mixture of spices and nuts with sweet and spicy taste and easy to prepare.

Poha Chivda

Thin poha - 6 cups
Peanuts - 1/4 cup
Cashew nuts - 1/4 cup
Dry Coconut pieces - 1/4 cup
Green chillies - 6 to 8
Roasted gram (chutney dhal) - 1/4 cup
Curry leaves - 6 strands
Raisins - 1/4 cup
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1 5sp
Salt - to taste
Sugar - 3 tbsp
Lemon juice - 1/2 lemon
Red chilly powder - 1 tbsp
Chaat masala - 1tsp
Asafoetida - a pinch
Mustard seeds - 2 tsp
Sesame - 1 tbsp
Coriander Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Olive Oil - 1/4 cup

1.  Place the poha in the oven at 200 F for about two hours till crisp.
2.  Heat oil and roast peanuts, cashew nuts, dry coconuts pieces, roasted gram, raisins, green chillies till crisp, curry leaves separately.
3.  In the same oil add asafoetida, turmeric, mustard seeds, sesame seeds, and when is sputters turn of the heat and add chilly powder, salt, sugar, lemon juice, coriander cumin powder, garam masala powder, chaat masala powder.
4.  Add this to the poha and mix.  Adjust seasoning to taste.

January 27, 2016

Khara Bun

Khara buns is one of the specialities of Bangalore bakeries.  This recipe was adapted from plain buns from my baking class and I adjusted the measurements and ingredients to suit my taste.  Here is how I made the khara buns:


Bread flour -4 cups
Skim milk – 5 oz
Yogurt – 4 oz
Water – 1oz
Salt – 1tsp
Sugar – 1 tbsp
Butter – 1 tbsp
Yeast – 3 tsp


Onion – 1 medium chopped
Ginger – ½ inch grated
Curry leaves – 4 strands chopped
Coriander leaves – ½ bunch chopped
Dill leaves – 3 tbsp (optional)
Green chillies – 3 to 4 chopped
Olive oil - 2 tbsp to sauté

1. Disintegrate yeast with a tsp of sugar in luke warm and rest aside.
2.   Add bread flour, salt, sugar, butter, skim milk, yogurt and the yeast mixture and knead well.
3. Cover the dough with saran wrap in a wide mixing bowl.
4. Rest in a warm place for about 4 hours till it doubles in size.  Alternatively, make the dough in the       bread machine with the above ingredients in the dough cycle.
5. Sauté the chopped onions, dill and mix the curry leaves, coriander leaves, green chillies.
6. When the dough is double in size punch it down and roll the dough.
7. Spread the filling and roll it.
8.  Make small balls and keep on a baking tray in a warm place for an hour till it doubles in size.
9.  Glaze the buns with milk and sugar mixture.
10.When the dough has risen fully bake it at 425F for about 20 minutes.

January 17, 2016

Quinoa Pathrode

Pathrode is a delicacy of Mangalore.  It is usually made with rice and Colocasia leaves.  I have tried this recipe by substituting quinoa  for rice and also used cabbage and spinach leaves.

Quinoa Pathrode


Quinoa - 1 cup
Spinach finely chopped - 1 cup
Cabbage chopped - 1 cup
Oil to saute - 2 tbsp

For Blending:
Fresh grated coconut - 1/4 cup
Red Chillies - 2
Coriander seeds - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds (Jeera) - 1tsp
Brown sugar - 3 tbsp
Tamarind -1 tbsp

Salt to taste

Oil - 3 to 4 tbsp
Mustard seeds- 1 tsp
Asafoetida - a pinch
Curry leaves - 2 strands
Grated coconut to garnish

1.  Saute cabbage and spinach,  Mix it with quinoa.
2.  Blend coconut with red chillies, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, brown sugar and tamarind in 1 cup of water.
3.  Mix it to the quinoa and cabbage/spinach mixture and add salt and 1 cup of water and cook on the stove  till almost cooked.
4.  Spread this mixture in idli plates or steamer plate and steam for 15 minutes.
5.  Let it cool. Crumble the steamed patrode.
6,  Make a seasoning of oil with mustard seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves and saute the pathrode.
7.  Garnish with grated coconut.