White Chocolate Cake Batter Krispies


If I was trying to eating healthy last week, I’ve shelved the idea for a moment. Or for a few moments. See how the past three posts have contained deeply indulgent treats? This has been the bulk of my food intake for the past seven days. I’m almost getting sick of sugar. 

Notice, I said almost. Okay that’s a joke, I could never be sick of sugar. Unfornately, says health. 
These krispies though, they are beyond worth postponing any healthy eating goals. 
I mean I knew they would be good. With white chocolate and cake batter and sprinkles and krispies. 
But I didn’t know they would be this good. 
Good enough to have my husband, a traditionally brown-chocolate-only guy, to ask for more the next day. And then almost burst into tears when I informed him I’d given the rest away. 

Oops.

Looks like I’ll be making these again very, very soon.
Alright I’m really making them for myself. 
Only problem is that I used up the last of my white chocolate this afternoon in a batch of fudge that went south on me. So a thirty ninth trip to the store is in order. Ah, what’s one more. 

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Laccha Paratha Multi Layered Indian Flat Bread

Laccha paratha…These flaky, multi layered flat bread is one of my favorite Indian bread to go along with the rich and creamy curries that are served in the restaurants or are made for special occasions at home. Although these parathas are easily available these days at the local superstores, making them at home just makes sure we are using good quality ingredients and no preservatives. I tried making them at home a few days back and the result was very encouraging. Although these uses a lot of oil and refined flour, but then you don’t have these everyday. So here is how to make laccha Paratha at home.

All you need is

  • All purpose flour Maida – 3 cups
  • Sugar – 1 tbsp
  • Salt – 1 tsp
  • Oil – 1 tbsp and more for applying and frying

Laccha Paratha Recipe

  1. Mix flour, sugar, salt and 1 tbsp oil in a bowl.
  2. Make a soft dough using water.
  3. Knead the dough for 5-6 minutes until it becomes soft.
  4. Cover and keep the dough for 20 minutes.
  5. Knead gain for 3-4 minutes.
  6. Cover and keep for another 20 minutes.
  7. Divide the dough into 8-10 pieces.
  8. Make small balls from each piece.
  9. Dust the dough and roll it as thin as possible.
  10. Don’t worry about tearing it while rolling.
  11. Apply oil generously over the rolled dough.
  12. Sprinkle little dry flour on top.
  13. Fold the rolled dough like we roll a fan or like a pleat.
  14. Make a pinwheel with the pleated dough.
  15. Dust and roll the paratha to make a 7-8 inch disc.
  16. Heat a griddle.
  17. Keep the paratha on the hot griddle.
  18. Cook till brown spots appear.
  19. Turn the paratha on the other side.
  20. Apply oil on both the sides and cook till brown spots darken.
  21. Apply little pressure while cooking using back of a ladle.
  22. Remove the paratha from the griddle.
  23. Press from both the sides to open the layers
  24. Serve hot with any curry based dish.

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Toasted Coconut & Cashew Granola

Homemade. 

One of my favorite things about this whole learning-my-way-around-the kitchen/baking/cooking/blogging thing has been exploring a whole new realm of possibilities when it comes to food. 

Up until recently I’ve been sheltered and naive and totally unaware of this whole DIY/make it yourself movement. 

Did you know you could render your own lard, make vanilla extract, or whip up creamy hazelnut spread like Nutella from the comfort of your own home? 

Personally, I’m dying to try straining my own greek yogurt. Heaven knows I put it in everything humanly possible. 


This mouthwatering Cinnamon Roll Pound Cake (cake for breakfast!!)

And these Deluxe S’mores Cupcakes (S’mores heaven!)
But what I’m getting at here is that there is a whole list of foods I’ve been eating throughout my life and I’ve only recently come to the realization that I can actually make them. Myself. At home. 

For example these one hour soft pretzels like the ones from the mall. Those were de-lish-us. A great recipe for sure but I’m convinced though that the experience was enhanced by the fact that I made them myself. 
Since those pretzels I’ve been brainstorming all sorts of ideas for the foods I’d usually buy but now want to try making in my own kitchen. I’m starting off small here with granola but I’m already addicted. 

My new go-to snack seems to be a handful of this sweet and crunchy granola with fruit, on yogurt, or plain.  

Looking back on the pre-culinary expansion time of my life, I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I would have asked why. Why would I make granola when I can easily buy a box at the store that I know tastes good?

Now that I’ve actually done it, I can answer that question. I make it myself because creating and eating delicious food is ten times more satisfying when I’ve poured some of myself into it. In every bite I taste creativity and accomplishment. Plus it’s hard to not love a dish that was literally made  just for me

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Hyderabadi Badam ka Hareera Healthy and Nourishing Almond Drink

Hyderabadi Badam ka Hareera…This drink is one among the many authentic Hyderabadi recipes which is very popular as breakfast drink and is also made during the month of Ramazan. It is very nutritious and gives instant energy and is definitely a good start for a day. I like to make this drink when the days are a little cold and just sipping on this hot and energizing drink makes me feel so much better. Here is how to make Hyderabadi Badam ka Hareera.
Hyderabadi Badam ka Hareera
Hyderabadi Badam ka Hareera
All you need is
  • Ghee – 1 tsp
  • Maida All purpose flour – 1 tbsp
  • Almond powder – 14 cup ( I blended blanched almonds in a blender to make powder )
  • Full cream milk – 1 liter
  • Saffron – a good pinch
  • Chironji – 2 tbsp
  • Sugar – 14 cup
  • Cardamom powder – 1 tsp
  • Clove powder – 12 tsp
  • Dried rose petals for garnishing

Hyderabadi Badam ka Hareera

Hyderabadi Badam ka Hareera Recipe

  1. Heat ghee in a pan.
  2. Add maida and roast for a few seconds till it is slightly browned.
  3. Add almond powder and milk and bring to a boil.
  4. Keep stirring.
  5. Add saffron and chironji and cook on low heat for 15-20 minutes.
  6. Add sugar and cook for another minute.
  7. Add cardamom powder and clove powder and mix.
  8. Pour in glasses.
  9. Garnish with rose petals.
  10. Serve hot.

Hyderabadi Badam ka Hareera

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Blondie Sundaes & Creamy Maple Sauce

In general, I don’t order dessert at restaurants. Not because I don’t want to, oh no that is not the issue. It’s just that I have a problem. It’s called my eyes are bigger than my stomach. And I can hear my mother’s voice in my head saying exactly those words. 

Me: “Oh my gosh I am SO full. . . “

Mom: “Looks like maybe your eyes were bigger than your stomach.”
When we go out to restaurants, I have a habit of looking over the dessert menu before ordering my meal. Bad idea. What nobody knows is that the reason I take sooooo long to decide what to order (and I do mean SO-stinking-long) is that I’m secretly entertaining thoughts of ordering dessert. Just dessert. Like instead of a main course. 

But somehow my dinner-before-dessert upbringing wins out in the end and I settle for something a little more traditional, as far as main course options go. Something a little less sugar-loaded and a little more nutrition-savvy. Often I order something thinking, oh I can totally finish that and still have room for dessert. 

Wrong-o.  
Do I ever finish my barbecue chicken with mashed sweet potatoes or broiled salmon and still have room for a decadent treat? No, pretty much never.  But I dream of having a stomach twice the size of the one I currently have where I could fit all of that into one glorious meal. 

In the meantime, if I have dessert from a restaurant, it’s usually to-go. 
One of my favorite restaurant desserts is served at Applebees. Have you been to Applebees? They have a bourbon street selection on their menu right now that is so SO good. But the real winner is their dessert. And I’m speaking of just one. The Applebees Blondie. 

A thick and chewy blonde brownie topped with vanilla ice cream and dripping in gooey maple-y cream sauce. 

To. Die. From.   Meaning if I could choose my own cause of death, it might be from eating too much of this blondie sundae. 
If you’ve never been to Applebees, or you’ve never warmed up a blondie and topped it with ice cream, you’re in for a life-changing experience here. Really. You will probably email me and cry exclamations of joy and thankfulness for sharing this wonder with you. 

I’m totally okay with that. We can chat about our love of blondie sundaes, maple anything,  and maybe plan a party in honor of this dessert. 
Just a heads up, this dessert is pretty rich. Mainly the sauce. It’s rich. So make sure you’ve got plenty of cool vanilla ice cream underneath that waterfall of sauce you’ll be pouring. The creamy mild vanilla balances out the rich maple sauce so well. And if you run out of blondie, just pour a bunch of sauce over the ice cream by itself. 

But try it with the blondie first, you’ll be glad you did. 
*Recipe adapted from Create-a-torium Crafts
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Vegetable Jalfrezi Mixed Vegetables in a Spicy Masala

Vegetable Jalfrezy….This medley of vegetables in a spicy masala is a delicious option for an Indian meal. I was cleaning my refrigerator yesterday and that’s when I found half a capsicum, a few florets of cauliflower and a single carrot lying in the vegetable basket. These vegetables makes for a delicious mix vegetable curry and so without much brain storming, my dinner plan was ready. Frozen peas from the freezer and a packet of paneer added to this array of colorful veggies made into a lip smacking Vegetable Jalfrezi in no time. You can enjoy this dish with laccha Paratha or Naan. Here is the recipe to make it
All you need is

  • Ghee – 2 tbsp
  • Oil – 2 tbsp
  • Cumin Zeera – 12 tsp
  • Onion – 12 cup ( thinly sliced )
  • Ginger garlic paste – 2 tsp
  • Green chili – 2  ( slit into half )
  • Tomato puree – 3 tbsp
  • Tomato ketchup – 2 tbsp
  • Coriander powder – 2 tsp
  • Red chili powder – 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 12 tsp
  • Garam masala powder – 12 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Paneer – 250 g ( cut into small pieces )
  • Mixed vegetables – 2 cups ( I used capsicum, cauliflower, carrot and peas )
  • Kasuri methi – 1 tbsp
  • Sugar – 12 tsp
  • Lemon juice – 2 tbsp
  • Fresh cream – 2 tbsp
  • Fresh coriander for garnishing

Vegetable Jalfrezi Recipe

  1. Heat oil in a pan.
  2. When the oil is hot, add cumin seeds.
  3. When the seeds starts to crackle, add onion and fry till slightly browned.
  4. Add ginger garlic paste and fry till the onions are nicely browned.
  5. Add green chili, tomato puree and tomato ketchup.
  6. Fry for a minute.
  7. Add coriander powder, red chili powder, turmeric powder, garam masala powder and salt.
  8. Add 2 tbsp water.
  9. Fry for 2-3 minutes.
  10. Add mixed vegetables and cover and cook till done.
  11. Add paneer, kasuri methi, sugar, lemon juice and fresh cream and cook for a minute.
  12. Garnish with fresh coriander.
  13. Serve hot with laccha paratha or Naan.

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Easy {30 Minute} Shrimp Pad Thai

My first real job was working in a Chinese restaurant. In fact I worked there for three years, straight through high school until I left for college. I started as a hostess and all I did was seat people. All. Night. Long. 

After some time I proved myself proficiently skilled in arranging tables and truly mastered the phrase, “Party of two? Right this way please.” It’s really an art. 
As much as I loved walking walking back and forth through the restaurant with stacks of menus, I was overjoyed when I was promoted to cashier. And it didn’t take long for me to tackle a second position, Chef To-Go. 

Okay that’s not actually a real title, I just took take-out orders and packed them in addition to my cashier duties. But man, I was one heck of a chinese-food-packer. Wrapping those foldable boxes in cellophane is trickier than it looks. Trust me, I know. 

And you would not believe how many people expect you to just know that they are allergic to peanuts and how dare you put them in my order
Eventually, I became a waitress. And that was my real time to shine. At one point I swear I could carry a full tray of water glasses in one hand and five fully-dressed salad plates on the other arm all at the same time. I considered joining the traveling circus, but when they couldn’t guarantee the income I was already generating in tips at the restaurant, I decided to let that dream go. 
Sometimes I still wonder if I passed up my true calling in life. 
I don’t know the name of the chef who worked in our restaurant. I should, but I don’t. Because we only called him X. I’m completely serious. X, I need a second order of the lo mein, but hold the onions! 

At the end of the night when the last customers had finally wandered out and we began cleaning and resetting the place for another day, X would fix us something delicious. Sometimes he’d ask what we wanted and we would request our favorites from the menu. But other times, he’d surprise us with new creations. 
One such night he presented us with a gigantic bowl of something I didn’t recognize, though many of my more Asian-cuisine-savvy coworkers apparently were familiar with and loved the dish. I dished it up. Ate it. (with chopsticks p.s.) And loooooved it. Turns out it was shrimp pad thai. 

Shrimp pad thai, come to mama. 
I left that phase of my life long ago when I left for college, and I’ve had several jobs since. Sometimes I think back though and remember some of the seriously amazing dishes that X would make for the crew each night. One thing is for sure, I’ll never forget that first time I tried shrimp pad thai. 

I’ve had it many times since and I just cannot get enough. I’ve been dying to have it for a while and finally decided it just needed to be done. I had to make it. With real fish sauce. Because that’s the legit way to do it. So I bought some fish sauce, and brought on a wave of nostalgia with this Asian beauty of a meal. If you like pad thai, you’ll love this. If you’ve never had pad thai? Well then it’s about dang time you tried it. 
*Recipe adapted from SkinnyTaste

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Best Hummus Middle Eastern Chickpea Dip

Hummus is a Middle Eastern dip made with chickpeas as the main ingredient.  I was introduced to this delicious dip a few years back by one of my husband’s aunt who had spent many years in middle east. I instantly fell in love with this versatile dip. Serve it with crackers or slather it over your bread slice to make sandwiches, it tastes lovely in all it’s avatars. Although the ingredients are very basic to make Hummus, a few tips and tricks takes it to another level. After making it innumerable times, I have come up with a recipe which tastes delicious each time. Here is the recipe to make the best Hummus.
hummus
hummus

All you need is

Chickpea – 1 cup
Garlic cloves – 12-14
Tahini – 4 tbsp ( mix 4 tbsp sesame seeds with 2 tbsp olive oil and little water and blend in a blender to make a smooth paste )
Extra virgin olive oil – 8 tbsp
Lemon juice – 5 tbsp
Salt to taste
Roasted cumin powder – 12 tsp
Chili flakes – 1 tsp
Warm water from boiled chickpeas – 3-4 tbsp

hummus

Method of preparation

Wash and soak chickpeas in enough water for 5-6 hours.
Drain the water.
Add chickpeas and 2 cups of water in a pressure cooker and pressure cook the chickpeas till done.
Drain the water reserving 3-4 tbsp for the hummus.
Add all the ingredients including the boiled chickpeas in a blender and blend to make a smooth hummus.
Serve with pita or any other crackers.

hummus

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Fifty Must-Make Fall Treats

It’s September people. 

As insanely weepy as I am to be letting go of Summer… I think it’s time to embrace the upcoming season. The one full of pumpkin pie, caramel apples, cinnamon everything, changing leaf colors, and riding boots.

Hello Autumn. I have missed you. And allow me to just take a moment to celebrate your return with this collection of absolutely MUST MAKE Fall Treats… 





Ummm…. Where on earth do I start???

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Muttabal Middle Eastern Eggplant Dip

Muttabal.. is a Middle eastern Dip made with eggplant. The eggplant is cooked on fire to give it a smoky flavor and it is then blended with other ingredients and spices to make Muttabal. Enjoy this delicious dip with Pita bread, crackers or as a sandwich spread. Here is how to make Muttabal

Muttabal

All you need is

Eggplant – 1
Onion – 14 cup ( finely chopped )
Tomato – 14 cup ( finely chopped )
Tahini – 2 tbsp
Lemon juice – 2 tbsp
Garlic – 6-8
Hung curd – 2 tbsp
Salt to taste
Olive oil – 2 tbsp
Chili flakes – 1 tsp
Fresh coriander – 1 tsp ( chopped )

Muttabal

Recipe of Muttabal

Wash the eggplant and pat dry.
Make a few incisions on the eggplant and roast directly on a gas stove or in an oven till the skin turns black and the flesh is softened.
Remove the blackened skin of the eggplant.
Add the flesh and remaining ingredients in a blender and just blend once or twice to make a coarse dip.
Serve with pita or any other crackers.

Muttabal

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