SriLankan Black Pumpkin Curry

Sri Lankan Black Pumpkin Curry

‘Black’ because the masala is roasted to the point of becoming black and ground to powder. This is not a spicy curry but there is definitely no hint of pumpkin sweetness.

SriLankan Black Pumpkin Curry
Recipe source: Sanjeev Kapoor

2 cups pumpkin cubes
1 small onion sliced
3 cloves garlic slices
Few curry leaves
1 cup thin coconut milk or water
½ cup thick coconut milk

To roast and powder:
½ tsp cumin
1 tsp fennel
1 ½ tsp whole coriander seeds
1 small pc cinnamon
2 tsp whole black peppers
1 clove
¼ tsp fenugreek seeds
10 curry leaves

Add pumpkin, onion, garlic, curry leaves, thin coconut milk OR water, and little salt in a pan and cook till pumpkin are soft. They should not become mushy.
Meanwhile first dry roast cumin and fennel till they become almost black. (Don’t burn).
Add coriander, cinnamon, clove, peppers, curry leaves and fenugreek and dry fry for few more mins coriander seeds become brown.
Take off fire and let it cool. Grind to smooth powder.
When the pumpkins are cooked, add thick coconut milk and the ground masala powder and mix gently. Add salt if required.
Let it simmer for a minute or two and take off fire.
Serve with chapathi or any flat bread.

English Muffin

English Muffin

English Muffin
From King Arthur flour website

4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp instant yeast
2 tbsp sugar
1 ¾ cups warm milk
3 tbsp softened butter
1 ¼ tsp salt
1 large egg beaten
¼ cup semolina

Add all ingredients (except semolina) into a food processor bowl and knead for 3-4 mins.
The dough will be extremely sticky. Don’t add more flour.
Transfer to a large oiled bowl and leave aside for 1-2 hrs or until doubled in size.
Meanwhile prepare 2 trays and line with parchment paper. Oil the paper nicely and sprinkle semolina liberally.
Punch down dough slowly and transfer to a lightly floured surface.
Divide into two (use a knife) and again each into two and again into two and continue to divide till you get total 16 balls. This way you will end up getting almost same size balls.
Roll each ball and slightly flatten with your palm. Place on the semolina sprinkled sheet and sprinkle some more semolina on top. Repeat with the rest.
Keep it covered for 20-30 mins.

English Muffin 1

Place a griddle / nonstick pan/tawa on lower than medium heat. Lightly oil the pan and sprinkle some semolina. Transfer the muffins on to the pan with a spatula. Accommodate 3-4 in the pan. No need to wait for the pan to heat up.
Cook for 7-10 mins and flip over. Cook for another 7-10 mins. Give it a gentle press with the spatula once.

English Muffin 2

Both sides will become golden in colour and center should be cooked. Transfer to a cooling rack. Repeat to cook the rest.
Break open one and see if inside is cooked to adjust your cooking time. Alternately you may keep your oven preheated. Once both sides are browned, pop into the oven for 5 mins to complete the cooking process. (I cooked all on stovetop only).
Serve warm or cold. Store leftovers in refrigerator or freezer.
It seems you don’t use a knife to cut the muffin, use a fork to poke all around and split open. Toast the cut sides until lightly browned.
Make delicious English egg muffin or spread jam and enjoy!

English Muffin 3

Orange Bundt Cake

Orange Bundt Cake

Orange Bundt Cake
Recipe source: Swapna

3 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3 tsp baking powder
3 large eggs
½ tsp nutmeg grated
2 pinch salt
2/3 cup canola oil
¾ cup orange juice
1 tbsp grated orange rind
2 tsp grated lemon rind (optional)
2 tsp vanilla essence

½ cup icing
1 -2 tbsp orange juice

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg and salt in a large bowl.
Make a well in the center and add oil, eggs, orange juice, orange rind and vanilla essence.
Beat with a mixer on low speed until combined.
Pour into a well-greased and floured bundt pan or a loaf pan. (no need to grease if using silicon pan)
Bake in preheated oven at 180 degree Celsius for approx. 50 mins or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cook in the pan for 5 mins and invert to a wire rack.
Combine glaze ingredients with a whisk. Pour or drizzle over warm cake.
Cool completely and slice and serve.

Orange Bundt cake 1

Nut Delight Bars

Almond peanuts quinoa Energy Bars

Nut Delight Bars
Adapted from Monica

2 cups whole almonds
1 cup peanuts
¾ cup walnuts
½ cup quinoa
¾ cup rice crispy

For syrup
½ cup honey
1/3 cup corn syrup
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla essence

Roast almonds, walnuts, peanuts and quinoa separately.
Almonds and walnuts can be roasted in a preheated oven at 160 degree Celsius for 15 mins.
Peanuts and quinoa should be dry roasted on stove top.
Add all nuts, rice crispies and quinoa in a large bowl. Stir and keep aside.
Grease a large baking tray and keep aside.
In a heavy bottom large pan, add honey, corn syrup, salt and vanilla and bring to boil. Stir continuously till the mixture reaches 260 degrees. For those who don’t have a thermometer like me, add a drop into a glass of water. If the mixture doesn’t dissolve fast, its ready. (hard ball stage).
Pour the mixture immediately over nut mixture and mix quickly so that nuts are evenly coated.
Quickly transfer to the greased tray and spread using a greased heavy spoon. Press down firmly.
Let it cool till it is slightly warm.
Invert the mixture on to a cutting board and cut into big or small bars.
Cool completely and store in an airtight container with parchment paper between layers. Store in refrigerator so that its stays crispy. Room temperature will make it slightly sticky.

Almond peanuts quinoa Energy Bars 1

Yogurt Ice-cream Pearls

Yogurt ice cream pearls

Yogurt Ice cream Pearls

So simple and fun to eat!! You can make with plain yogurt or with fruit puree added…use your imagination as per your kid’s taste preference….
This doesn’t have an ingredient list or a specific method. Basically you just mix yogurt and sugar in a small bowl. You get a thick consistency if the yogurt is tied in a muslin cloth and hung for few hours. You can either add few spoons of fruit puree or a drop of food colour.
Spoon the mixture into a corner of a zip lock pouch. Snip the edge with a scissor and squeeze out small droplets on to a parchment covered plate or tray that fits your freezer.
Put the plate in the freezer for a few hours till the drops are frozen. Once frozen, store them in another container.

Cinnamon Rolls -soft & spongy

Cinnamon Rolls

Soft and spongy cinnamon rolls!!

Cinnamon Rolls
Recipe source: Happyhomebaking

2 cups + ¼ cup all purpose flour
1 cup milk
¼ cup canola oil
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp instant yeast or 1 ½ tsp active dry yeast
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¾ tsp salt

1 tbsp cinnamon powder
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup unsalted butter melted

Add milk, sugar and oil in a pan. Heat the mixture till just about to boil. Let it cool till it is lightly warm to touch.
Add 2 cups flour and instant yeast in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and add the warm milk mixture and stir with a wooden spoon.
Cover and keep aside for 1 hr.
Now add in the remaining flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir until the mixture comes together. Dough will be sticky.
Either proceed to make rolls or chill for later use.
Mix cinnamon and brown sugar in a small bowl.
Dust work surface liberally with flour and transfer the dough to the work surface.
Dust some flour on top of dough and roll out into a rectangle as thin as possible. (Don’t worry…its little difficult to manage the dough, but the end result is worth it!!)
Brush the surface with melted butter and sprinkle the cinnamon mixture.
Roll the dough as tightly as possible starting from long end. Pinch the seams to seal.
Cut into 1” thick slices and arrange in a parchment covered baking pan. Keep rolls closely.
Cover and let rise for 30 mins.
Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degree Celsius for approx. 20 mins until the edges become golden brown.
Take out and keep on a cooling rack.
Mix 4 tbsp icing sugar and enough water to make a thick paste. And drizzle over warm rolls.
Serve warm.

Cinnamon Rolls 1

Caramel popcorn with coconut milk

Caramel popcorn with coconut milk

Well…..a word before you start…this is not a super crunchy caramel popcorn that you buy in shops. No corn syrup or loads of butter!!
But still tasty, healthy and reasonably crunchy. Hope you will give it a try!!

Caramel popcorn with coconut milk
Recipe source : Olena

½ cup corn
¼ cup agave nectar (I used honey)
½ cup coconut milk (I used can)
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/8 tsp salt
1 tbsp coconut or canola oil

Heat a medium pot or pressure cooker.
Add oil and corn kernels and stir.
When they start to pop, close the lid and keep shaking the pan.
When popping slows down, take off the fire and transfer popcorn to a large bowl.
Wipe the pot clean and return pot to medium heat.
Add honey and bring to a boil. Once it become dark brown in colour, add coconut milk and vanilla essence and salt.

Caramel popcorn with coconut milk 1

Let it boil first and then simmer till the mixture thickens and becomes very darker. Stir occasionally.
When the mixture is ready (you really have to make a guess here-it should be very thick and dark), spread over the popcorn and mix quickly.
Spread the popcorn on a tray and pop into the freezer till set.
After some time, take out and break the clusters.
I found serving small portions at a time will keep it crunchy. Honey makes it little sticky if kept outside for long.

Caramel popcorn with coconut milk

Apricot & Cashews Energy Bars

Apricot Cashew Energy Bars

A healthy sugar free sweet treat after meals or whenever you please! You can have a slice or two without feeling guilty of adding calories….

Apricot & Cashews Energy Bars
Recipe adapted from Christal

1 cup dry apricots
½ cup raw cashews
5 tbsp oats
½ cup shredded coconut
2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
2 tbsp toasted quinoa
¼ tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil

Pulse cashews in food processor until crumbly and remove into a bowl.
Pulse apricots until finely chopped.
Add cashews and other ingredients to apricot mixture and pulse until all are well combined.
Transfer to a cling wrap or parchment lined pan and firmly press to form even layer.
Place the pan in the freezer for one hour to set and then slice into bars of desired size. (You can slice and store too as I did!)
Store in refrigerator.


To toast quinoa, take 2 tbsp quinoa and dry roast in a pan for few minutes till you hear popping sound. Quinoa will not change shape when popped but texture and taste changes.

Blender Chocolate Cake

Blender Chocolate Cake

Blender Chocolate Cake
Recipe source: Julie

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup cocoa
1 ½ cups sugar
½ tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
½ cup canola or other oil
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup very hot water or coffee (2 tsp coffee powder +water)

Add milk, oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla into a blender and blend till smooth.
Add flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Pulse a few times.
Add hot coffee and blend well just to combine.
Pour into a greased baking pan and bake in a preheated oven at 160 degree Celsius for 35-40 mins or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Let cool in the pan for 10 mins and then onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Sprinkle icing sugar before slicing or frost per your liking.

Blender Chocolate Cake 1

Apple Cinnamon Oats Breakfast Bars

Apple Cinnamon Oats breakfast bars

For people who prefer sweet breakfast….like me!

Apple Cinnamon Oats Breakfast Bars

1 cup oats
½ tsp baking powder
1 apple chopped
¼ cup chopped nuts
3-4 tbsp raisins
1 cup milk
1 egg
1 tsp cinnamon powder
3 tbsp brown sugar or honey
1 tsp vanilla essence
Pinch of salt

Add oats, baking powder, sugar, nuts and salt to the baking dish.
Mix well and spread it evenly.
Spread apple pieces on top.
Whisk milk, egg, vanilla essence (and honey if you are not using sugar) and slowly pour over the oats.
Sprinkle raisins on top.
Bake in preheated oven at 150 degree Celsius for approx. 25-30 mins or until set.
Slice and serve warm.

You can use any combination of fruits you like and follow above recipe.

Blueberry Peach Oats Breakfast Bars

Blueberry Peach Oats Breakfast Bars