Friday, May 22, 2015

Carrot cupcake

Carrot cupcake
Carrot cupcake

I think most of us won't say no to cupcakes and when you make that at home, it smells great and tastes extra delicious. Cake recipes from food network channel never goes wrong and this time I referred carrot cupcake recipe from my favorite chef Ina Garten. Wondering what will you make for a potluck party, then I strongly recommend this cupcake as it will please your friends crowd. Carrot cupcake is so flavorful and adding nuts gives extra taste. One of the most satisfying desserts around! So why wait, try out this cupcake recipe at your home and share your feedback in the comments section.

Ingredients (makes 12 cupcakes)

all-purpose flour - 1 cup [ 1cup size = 240 ml ]
baking soda - 1 tsp
baking powder - 1/2 tsp
salt - 1/2 tsp
sugar - 1 cup
shredded carrot - 1 1/2 cups
vanilla extract - 1/2 tsp
eggs - 2
raisins - 1/2 cup
walnut or pecans - 1/2 cup
vegetable oil - 1/2 cup
cinnamon sugar - 1 tsp


  • Beat sugar, oil and vanilla extract together in a bowl
  • add eggs and mix well
  • in another bowl, mix together flour, cinnamon sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt
  • add this flour mixture slowly to the sugar mixture and stir well
  • add grated carrots, mix and then add raisins and pecans (You can also add walnuts)

  • mix until just combined
  • preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 - 15 mins
  • line the muffin tray with the cupcake paper liners
  • pour the batter gently into the liners until each is 3/4th full. If you are planning to frost the cupcakes, then its better to fill each liner 2/3rd full otherwise after baking cupcake will come over top of the liner like a dome. its totally your choice. 
  • Bake them for 20 - 25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean when you insert it in the cupcake
  • Cool it on a rack for 25 - 30 minutes 
  • Once it is completely cooled, you can either fill with your favorite frosting or you can just have it. Tastes moist and delicious.
  • Serve as a dessert . Enjoy making this carrot cupcake recipe at your home and share your feedback in the comments section below.

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Monday, May 18, 2015

White pumpkin curd curry (Thadiyangai thayir pachadi) / Ash gourd curd curry

White pumpkin curd curry
White pumpkin curd curry

Ash gourd / white pumpkin (Winter melon / white gourd) is commonly known as vella poosanikai or thadiyangai in tamil. It has plenty of health benefits, listing few here:

  • beneficial for diabetic patients and obese persons
  • eliminates constipation and soothes the gastrointestinal tract
  • helps in reducing acidity

This dish can be served as a side dish for white rice with tamarind based gravy (like puli kuzhambu, thatta payaru kuzhambu, Kathrikai pulikari , Milagu thokku etc.,) . It can also be served as side dish for parathas. This dish is very popular in southern side of Tamil Nadu, you can find in most of the marriage occasions. This is commonly named as "Thadiyangai thayir pachadi". This white gourd recipe is very easy and quick to make. Tastes great.

Health benefits courtesy:

Ingredients (serves for 2)

White pumpkin (grated) - 1 1/2 cup (1 cup size = 150 ml) (You can also cut pumpkin into small pieces and use it instead of grating )
mustard seeds - 1 tsp
oil - 2 tsp
salt - as needed
coconut pieces - 1/4 cup
cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
green chili - 2 -3 nos
curd - 2 tablespoon
curry leaves - few
coriander leaves - for ganishing


  • grind coconut pieces, cumin seeds and green chili to a fine paste
  • heat a vessel with oil and add mustard seeds, curry leaves
  • once it splutters, add the grated white pumpkin
  • cook it for 4 - 5 mins and then add grounded coconut paste
  • add salt and cook till the raw smell goes off
  • once the raw smell is gone, switch off the flame and let it cool down
  • once cooled, add two tablespoons of curd. Mix well and garnish it with coriander leaves. 
  • Serve as a side dish for any tamarind based gravy with hot white rice. 

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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Dwarf copperleaves lentils curry / Ponnanganni Keerai kootu / Spinach lentils curry

Ponnanganni keerai (tamil) is commonly known as Dwarf copperleaf or sessile joyweed in english. It has plenty of health benefits and its mostly included in ayurvedic medicines. The plant is used throughout Asia and Africa to treat a variety of disorders, including gastrointestinal problems, such as flatulence,  nausea and vomitting, headaches, bronchitis, asthma, vertigo and even hepatitis. It is considered to be one of those drugs which prevents and cures chronic diseases and rejuvenates the body. It also has health benefits for lactating mothers.

The leaves contain dietary fiber and eating this vegetable daily, is known to significantly reduce the postprandial blood glucose level.

My nephew is a picky eater and he eats only selected vegetable (mostly carrot) during lunch only at school. But if we make this keerai kootu (spinach lentils gravy), then he won't say no and his lunchbox will be clean that day.

Try out this keerai kootu recipe (spinach lentils gravy recipe) at your home and share your feedback in the comments section below. You can try the same recipe with any type of spinach varieties.

Ponnanganni keerai kootu
Keerai kootu


Spinach (I used ponnanganni keerai (tamil) / Dwarf copperleaf , sessile joyweed (english) - 1 bunch
moong dal - 3.5 tablespoon
salt - as needed
red chili powder - 1 tsp
coriander powder - 1.5 tsp
asafoetida - a pinch
turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
cumin seeds - 2 tsp
mustard seeds - 1 tsp
urad dal - 2 tsp
small onions / pearl onions - 10 - 15 nos
dry red chili - 2
curry leaves - few
oil - 2 tsp
coconut pieces - 1/4 cup (around 40 ml)


  • Take out the leaves from its stem and wash it with plenty of water twice. 
  • wash moong dal in little water
  • In a pressure cooker, add the keerai, washed moong dal, 1 tsp of cumin seeds, salt, asafoetida, turmeric powder, coriander powder, 
  • add 2 cups of water [1 cup size= 150 ml] and pressure cook it for 3 whistles
  • grind coconut pieces and 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds to a fine paste
  • once the pressure is released, add the coconut paste and bring it to boil. 
  • Switch off the flame and transfer this mixture to a bowl
  • chop the small onions and dry red chili
  • heat oil in a vessel and add mustard seeds, urad dal, 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds, curry leaves. 
  • once it splutters, add red chili, chopped onions
  • once the onions become golden brown in color, switch off the flame and transfer this to the curry. 
  • Serve as a side dish for any gravies or it can be directly mixed with white rice and ghee. Tastes delicious. 
  • You can try the same recipe with any type of spinach varieties.

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