Rice Flour Pudding (Phirni) - Creamy Indian Delight

Party season has started to welcome the new year and bidding adieu to the passing year. And parties mean entertaining guests, decorating the house, making wonderful food and indulging oneself. Finally the perfect time to stop thinking 'healthy' and start thinking 'desserts'. Given that I have done so much throughout the year to cut down on calorie intake, the holiday season means all sweet for me with divine cakes, tasty pastries, yummy chocolate to delicious puddings.

Creamy, sweet and delicious, Phirni/Firni is a fabulous dessert for serving in party dinners. Very easy to make. The main ingredient Rice flour can be obtained ready made from food stores. If you want you can even prepare rice flour at home by soaking rice overnight. Then remove all the water and let the rice dry on old newspaper. When rice becomes completely dry, grind it in a grinder to powdered form and use whenever you want. You can experiment with the flavors to make mango phirni, almond phirni or pistachio phirni. I really love the creamy taste and aroma of phirni be it of any flavor or plain.


1 l milk
1 cup rice flour
nuts & raisins according to your choice
1 cup sugar
pinch of cardamom powder (roasted)
few saffron strands


* Boil milk and sugar together in a pan, until a thick consistency is achieved.
* Add rice flour slowly in parts, dissolving each part properly so that no lumps are formed.
* On medium heat let the mixture boil.
* Add the cardomom powder & saffron strands.
* Remove from heat. Serve warm or chill it as you want.
* Garnish with raisins and nuts and pour in clay pots for serving.

Fried Rice - When You Want Something Quick

Merry Christmas to all of you!!
Christmas spirit is everywhere. Got a wonderful Plum cake from my neighbor. I gifted her some assorted chocolates along with a greeting card. She gave me a wonderful Plum cake, which was absolutely delicious with lots of nuts & raisins inside. After having large bites of it, tummy was almost full and feeling of laziness started overpowering me. But still a need for something fulfilling was there. Somewhere in these moments, I always wish if I had a magic wand. Just a swish and piping hot delicious food is there on my plate. As I am no magician nor I have a magic wand, I have to cook.

A quick peep inside the refrigerator and I found some leftover rice, along with the regular veggies. My joy knew no bounds. At that very moment I knew, I am lucky. Out of plain leftover rice, so many rice dishes can be put together in minutes. Just throw in variety of flavors, some veggies, saute and a wholesome meal is ready to be served. And I bet anyone will be pleased. I also did the same and a delicious steaming fried rice was ready. Although there is no specific recipe but I used a mix of few Chinese ingredients and some regular ones on my instinct.


2-3 cup cooked plain rice
1 cup mixed vegetables (peas, beans, celery, cabbage)
1 large onion, chopped
1 tbsp soya sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1/4 tsp red chili powder
salt to taste
2 tbsp oil
copped spring onion & cilantro leaves for garnish


* Heat oil in a wok and fry onions till golden brown.
* Add vegetables, salt, pepper and chili powder and fry till all the water from the vegetables evaporate.
* Add rice and mix well. Splash soy sauce and fish sauce.
* Stir-fry rice till everything is mixed well.
* Garnish with spring onions and cilantro leaves.
* Serve hot.

Apple & Oatmeal Muffins - Crunchy Christmas Treats

Sunday, after being unwell for last two days, finally I got to do some of baking. By now my fear of baking is gone and after few successful attempts, I feel pretty confident. Still have a long way to go before I become a perfect baker.

The apple & oatmeal muffins turned out to be extremely delicious, moist and crunchy. Moistness was due to apples, crunch came from the roasted oats and the recipe from a cookery show. Whenever I get a chance to watch any of the cookery shows, I jot down the recipe in my recipe diary. The muffins' recipe was also there. Christmas is just in a few days and muffins make a delicious treat for the holiday season.

Initially, I was reluctant in using the oatmeal in my muffins. But then thought I should at least give a try. Until now I have used oatmeal in my breakfast with just  milk. These muffins are special treats, just in time for Christmas. So foodies do try these muffins whenever you get a chance.


1 1/2 cup flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup oatmeal
apples (peeled & chopped)
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 cup butter
1/2 tbsp cinnamon powder
1/2 cup cream


* In a pan dry roast oatmeal for few minutes and keep it aside.
* Same goes with apples, in a pan saute apples in a spoon of butter for few minutes and also keep it aside.
* Whip sugar, cream & eggs in a big bowl.
* Fold in the flour. (you can blend the mixture as well for few minutes, in a blender)
* Add the oatmeal, apples, cinnamon powder & baking soda.
* Melt butter in a pan and pour in the batter. Mix.
* Pour the batter in the greased moulds.
* Bake the muffins for about 30-35 minutes at around 170 degrees C.
* Serve warm with any sauce of your choice or fresh cream.

Fried Onion Rings - For Tea Time

Winters have started with misty mornings and cold evenings. And cold evenings call for hot cups of ginger tea
along with some quick knick knacks. Although snacks can be as simple as biscuits or something sweet. But if you will ask my choice, then I am always on for something crunchy, crispy & salty. Most of the week I have to suffice myself with readymade items. But on weekends, I indulge myself fully in making every effort to enjoy my tea time.

Onion rings are simple "bhajiyas" which is usually made in any Indian home. But making crunchy rings is a trick which I have learnt from my mother and she has from her mother. When we keep sliced onions with salt. Then after few minutes they release water which is sufficient for making batter for bhajiyas. As soon as I got back home I salted the onions and kept them. Then I continued with my other things. After 10-15 minutes when I started, enough water was there. The aroma which started coming was in itself very overwhelming. Along with it I made hot cups of ginger tea. Both made wonderful combo. So what are you waiting, enjoy your cold winter evenings with something hot n crunchy.

This is off to the Tea Time Snack Event on Simple Indian Food.


2-3 large onions, peeled and thinly sliced in rings

1 cup of gram flour

1 cup of fresh green cillantro leaves chopped

¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder

¼ teaspoon of oregano

¼ teaspoon of fresh green chilies chopped fine

¼ teaspoon of red chili powder

Salt to taste

Oil as required for frying


* In a large bowl add salt to the onion rings and leave for about 15-20 minutes.

* Then add gram flour followed by all the other ingredients.

* Mix well.

* In a wok, heat oil.

* Take out each onion ring or a small portion of the batter and drop into the hot oil.

* Deep fry till they turn golden brown in color.

* Pat the onion rings on an absorbent paper to soak the excess oil.

* Seve them hot with green chutney or cheese dip for tea.

Note: Don't use water, if you want to make crispy rings.

Caramelized Bananas - A Quick & Simple Dessert

When you are back home after slogging for almost nine hours of work and you come to know that you have guests, then what do you do? Panic ? Atleast I do. Although I love to entertain but unexpected guests really spoil my mood. Yesterday night was also the same. But for a change, I pondered for a few moments, searched quickly through my refrigerator, checked the blogs of my foodie bloggers, took a deep breath and diverted my anger towards preparing the dinner.

Preparing the main course was easy, followed by a salad. Being equipped by the appliances of modern cooking, it took me over an hour. Yoo-ho !! Guests arrived just at that moment. Cooking had made my mood. I welcomed them with a smile. But still an important thing was left and that was the dessert. All of a sudden a glance on a bunch of bananas and something clicked. Any guesses?? Yes, Caramalized Bananas. Bingo !! When you want something quick and simple, caramelized bananas make just a perfect dessert in winters and even in summers, if served with scoops of ice cream. The recipe is just too simple and almost all the ingredients are there in the home.


6 bananas (peeled)
1/2 cup sugar
2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup butter
1 tbsp cinnamon powder (roasted)
1 tbsp cardamon powder
handful of raisins, peanuts & pistachios
1 tbsp orange zest
1 tbsp brown sugar


* In a pan, heat sugar on low flame until it melts and turns brown in color.
* Add butter, orange juice, cinnamon and cardomom powder.
* Keep on stirring till the mixture comes to a boil.
* In a baking dish, place the bananas and pour the mixture over them.
* For topping add orange zest along with the nuts.
* Sprinkle the brown sugar and bake the bananas for about 20 minutes at 170 degrees(C).
* Remove and let it cool for sometime and serve warm with fresh cream or vanilla ice cream.

Vegan Minestrone - The Big Soup

The host Harini of Tongueticklers decided on Soups for this month's Monthly Mingle, started by Meeta. I must say a perfect theme for the cold of December. Right from my growing years, I have been a big fan of different types of soups. And still I cannot imagine even a week without one or two bowls of soup.
Soups can be as simple as possible. Yet they can be as complex as you want them to be, by mixing more or less ingredients. But they have a thing common and that is the great comforting factor along with oodles of warmth.  Packed with goodness and great flavour, Minestrone is one such soup from Italy. Best eaten in fall or winter months, minestrone makes a perfect light and healthy meal for lunch or dinner. Although there is a huge variety of minestrone recipes as many are the minestrone cooks. But almost all minestrone recipes have three basic vegetables to start with - onion, carrot and celery. One important feature of this soup is that vegetables are to be chopped very fine so that each remains its identity and doesn't blend.

The aroma is fabulous. When you will start making it, I can bet that your family members will start peeping into the kitchen to check what's special is going on. You can experiment with the flavors according to the taste of your family and the vegetables available at hand. This is a vegan version. But vegetable broth can be replaced with chicken stock another minestrone will be ready.

1 cup macroni boiled
2 tbsp of olive oil
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp ginger paste
½ cup onion chopped
1 or 2 cup chopped carrots, potato, celery with leaves, cabbage
½ cup garbanzo beans or green beans, or any beans of your choice
1 cup tomato puree
4 cups of vegetable broth or water
2 tbsp herbs (optional)
salt and pepper for taste
grated cheese for garnishing (optional)


* Heat olive oil in a large pan or pot and saute chopped onions.
* When golden brown, add ginger garlic pastes followed by chopped carrots, celery, cabbage and salt accordint to taste.
* Saute the mixture till all the vegetables are tender.
* Add herbs, beans and tomato puree.
* Pour in the vegetable stock and macaroni after five minutes.
* Sprinkle black pepper powder according to your taste.
* Cover and cook for about half an hour .
* Season with grated cheese and serve hot in bowls.

Chocolate Plum Cake - A Simple One For Christmas

Weekends are a joy for everyone. Whole week everyone plans for weekend getaways and I plan for what I will make or bake. Lately baking is a new passion in my life, for which I get time on weekends only. In the last one, I had few of my friends. Just a bunch of women, no men. That makes me think, do we really need men in our life. No!! not at all. But yes men and women compliment eachother. And this will remain a fact as always. After all whatever we cook or we wear, if we don't have an admirer then from where will come the appreciations. We women love to be appreciated!!

For the lunch I had planned well in advance. There were grilled vegetables with tahini in the starters followed by fried rice and then my lovely chocolate cake with vanilla icecream for dessert. We chatted, we ate, watched a movie. All together you can call it a super fun time. Each part of my body freshened up.

Since when I have bought a can of chocolate, I am going totally crazy. Whatever dessert I am making, there is chocolate in it. Thats why I made chocolate cake. Its an easy recipe. I am gonna make one again and gift it to my darling neighbour on Christmas. So this one is for her. Rest of the menu, I will post in coming days. Enjoy this simple cake with your family this Christmas !


1 cup chocolate
1 cup butter
2-3 tbsp sugar free, powdered
2 eggs
2 tbsp honey
1 cup flour
handfull of chopped nuts


* Melt the chocolate in microwave or a pan of low heat.
* In the meantime whip butter and sugar together in a bowl until light & fluffy.
* Add melted chocolate and beat in the eggs.
* Fold in the flour. Whip the whole mixture in a blender as well for having a perfectly soft cake.
* If required add a little milk
* After blending, stir in the chopped nuts.
* Take a pan, grease it with butter and pour the mixture in it.
* Bake the cake at 170 degree C for about half an hour or more. Check using a toothpick.
* Serve with freshly whipped cream or a scoop of icecream.

Steamed Chocolate Pudding - Weekend Special

Sunday was special for me. After contemplating for about a month, finally I had bought a laptop. So there was a reason for my happiness. And any reason of happiness needs a celebration. Now we foodies when we are happy, what we do? Obviously cook or bake or eat out. Whatever we decide on, food is definitely there playing an important role. The menu consisted of chicken in red wine sauce with mushroom pilaf, followed by the yummy dessert.

The star of the menu was the dessert,  a lovely Chocolate pudding and that too steamed making my weekend treat special, . Easy to make in home, even if you don't have an oven. Morever you dont have to have a steamer too. What you can do is take a large pot anf fill it one third with water. Put a strainer in it and over it put your mould, covering it with a foil. Then close the lid of the pot. Its a quick home method. But if you have oven, you can always bake the chocolate pudding.

The chocolate pudding I made was wonderful. I served it warm with scoops of vanilla icecream. And I also saved some spoons of melted chocolate. While serving I poured it on the pudding. It was such a lovely treat. I still have that warm gooey taste in my mouth. So here goes my recipe -


1 cup grated dark chocolate
2/3 cup all purpose flour, sieved
3 tbsp cocoa powder
½ tsp baking powder
2 eggs
½ tsp vanilla essence
3 tbsp sugar
1 teaspoon coffee powder
Milk as required


* In a pan on low heat add grated chocolate and melt it.
* Then whisk the chocolate till it smoothens.
* Mix flour, baking powder, cocoa and coffee powder.
* Then using a strainer sieve through into a large bowl.
* Add eggs, vanilla essence, melted chocolate and sugar.
* In a blender, blend the mixture adding little milk if it is thick.
* Take a mould and grease it with butter and pour the mixture in it.
* In a steamer, add the mould and cover it.
* Steam it for around half an hour or so. Check using a knife by piercing it in the pudding. If nothing sticks to the knife then the pudding is ready.
* Let it cool for few minutes then remove from the mould.
* Serve it warm.
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