Srivalli of Spice Your Life has started this wonderful Indian Cooking Challenge, where every month one recipe will be given and everyone should follow it and post it on the same day. This month was trial and we all had to make Rava Laddoo's. What day better than today, being our anniversary and also we finalized on a house. I waited for today to make it. I had made them before but a bit differently. I followed her recipe and this is much easier than what I used to follow and tasted better too. Thanks Srivalli for this lovely challenge. This were so easy to make too. Here is Srivalli's recipe.


Makes - 10 Laddoos of normal size

Rava / Semolina - 1 cup
Sugar - 1 cup
Ghee - 25 gms
Milk - 25 ml
Cardamom powder - a pinch
Cashew nuts - 10 whole nuts
Raisins - 10 nos
Grated fresh coconut - 25 gms


  1. Heat 2 tsp of ghee in a kadai. Roast cashew nuts and raisins. Once the raisins balloon up, remove and keep them aside.
  2. Roast the grated coconut. Remove and keep aside.
  3. Add the remaining ghee and roast the Rava till its well roasted and aroma starts coming out.
  4. In a bowl, take all the roasted Rava, Nuts, Coconut and add the Cardamom powder.
  5. Add the sugar. Mix well.
  6. Slowly add the warm milk into the bowl. Check if you are able to gather as balls. When you find that milk added is enough to get you laddoos, transfer it back to the kadai and cook on sim for 2 mins.
  7. Mix well and then cover it and let it rest for 2 mins.
  8. Then immediately make laddoos.

The June Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict and Annemarie of Ambrosia and Nectar. They chose a Traditional (UK) Bakewell Tart... er... pudding that was inspired by a rich baking history dating back to the 1800's in England.

This was a lovely challenge, I made 2 tarts one was a pear tart and the other I use Rasberry Jam. The pear tart was over in seconds where as the other one was forgotten in the oven and next day mom turned on the oven in the morning and the poor thing got burnt. We all were really sad since we wanted to have that for breakfast. Anyways I will surely be making this again. Thank you for the lovely recipe.

Bakewell Tart…er…pudding

Makes one 23cm (9” tart)
Prep time: less than 10 minutes (plus time for the individual elements)
Resting time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes
Equipment needed: 23cm (9”) tart pan or pie tin (preferably with ridged edges), rolling pin

One quantity sweet shortcrust pastry (recipe follows)
Bench flour
250ml (1cup (8 US fl. oz)) jam or curd, warmed for spreadability
One quantity frangipane (recipe follows)
One handful blanched, flaked almonds

Assembling the tart

  1. Place the chilled dough disc on a lightly floured surface. If it's overly cold, you will need to let it become acclimatised for about 15 minutes before you roll it out. Flour the rolling pin and roll the pastry to 5mm (1/4”) thickness, by rolling in one direction only (start from the centre and roll away from you), and turning the disc a quarter turn after each roll. When the pastry is to the desired size and thickness, transfer it to the tart pan, press in and trim the excess dough. Patch any holes, fissures or tears with trimmed bits. Chill in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 200C/400F.
  3. Remove shell from freezer, spread as even a layer as you can of jam onto the pastry base. Top with frangipane, spreading to cover the entire surface of the tart. Smooth the top and pop into the oven for 30 minutes. Five minutes before the tart is done, the top will be poofy and brownish. Remove from oven and strew flaked almonds on top and return to the heat for the last five minutes of baking.
  4. The finished tart will have a golden crust and the frangipane will be tanned, poofy and a bit spongy-looking. Remove from the oven and cool on the counter. Serve warm, with crème fraîche, whipped cream or custard sauce if you wish.
  5. When you slice into the tart, the almond paste will be firm, but slightly squidgy and the crust should be crisp but not tough.

Jasmine’s notes:
  • If you cannot have nuts, you can try substituting Victoria sponge for the frangipane. It's a pretty popular popular cake, so you shouldn't have any troubles finding one in one of your cookbooks or through a Google search. That said, our dear Natalie at Gluten a Go Go has sourced some recipes and linked to them in the related alt.db thread.
  • You can use whichever jam you wish, but if you choose something with a lot of seeds, such as raspberry or blackberry, you should sieve them out.
  • The jam quantity can be anywhere from 60ml (1/4 cup) to 250ml (1cup), depending upon how “damp” and strongly flavoured your preserves are. I made it with the lesser quantity of home made strawberry jam, while Annemarie made it with the greater quantity of cherry jam; we both had fabulous results. If in doubt, just split the difference and spread 150ml (2/3cup) on the crust.
    Annemarie’s notes:
  • The excess shortcrust can be rolled out and cut into cookie-shapes (heck, it’s pretty darned close to a shortbread dough).

Sweet shortcrust pastry

Prep time: 15-20 minutes
Resting time: 30 minutes (minimum)
Equipment needed: bowls, box grater, cling film

225g (8oz) all purpose flour
30g (1oz) sugar
2.5ml (½ tsp) salt
110g (4oz) unsalted butter, cold (frozen is better)
2 (2) egg yolks
2.5ml (½ tsp) almond extract (optional)
15-30ml (1-2 Tbsp) cold water

  1. Sift together flour, sugar and salt. Grate butter into the flour mixture, using the large hole-side of a box grater. Using your finger tips only, and working very quickly, rub the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Set aside.
  2. Lightly beat the egg yolks with the almond extract (if using) and quickly mix into the flour mixture. Keep mixing while dribbling in the water, only adding enough to form a cohesive and slightly sticky dough.
  3. Form the dough into a disc, wrap in cling and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes

Jasmine’s notes:
  • I make this using vanilla salt and vanilla sugar.
  • If you wish, you can substitute the seeds of one vanilla bean, one teaspoon of vanilla paste or one teaspoon of vanilla extract for the almond extract


Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Equipment needed: bowls, hand mixer, rubber spatula

125g (4.5oz) unsalted butter, softened
125g (4.5oz) icing sugar
3 (3) eggs
2.5ml (½ tsp) almond extract
125g (4.5oz) ground almonds
30g (1oz) all purpose flour

Cream butter and sugar together for about a minute or until the mixture is primrose in colour and very fluffy. Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. The batter may appear to curdle. In the words of Douglas Adams: Don’t panic. Really. It’ll be fine. After all three are in, pour in the almond extract and mix for about another 30 seconds and scrape down the sides again. With the beaters on, spoon in the ground nuts and the flour. Mix well. The mixture will be soft, keep its slightly curdled look (mostly from the almonds) and retain its pallid yellow colour.

Annemarie’s notes:
  • Add another five minutes or more if you're grinding your own almonds or if you're mixing by hand (Heaven help you).

I have been away from my blog for a long time and even though I completed this challenge on time I could not get to post it. Its taking me a while to get back to the swing of things. I am so very late in posting this.

I made a veggie version, just sauted some onions, carrot, beans, cabbage, capsicum and green onions with some garlic salt and pepper. I liked the pan fried version more than the steamed ones, though my husband liked the steamed ones better.

Thank you for this lovely challenge.

Click here for the recipe

Hello friends, its been so long I have been able to post anything due to different circumstances. But am back now and will try to catch up for the lost time.

Here is the most loved and easy to make Mattar Aloo, this is a saviour when you don't have much in your fridge.

(Serves 2)

2 medium potatoes, cut in quarters
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup chopped onions
2 big tomatoes / 2 tbsp tomato paste(or as per taste)
1/2 inch ginger
1 green chili
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp red chili powder
pinch turmeric powder
salt to taste
fresh coriander leaves for garnish
1 tbsp oil

  1. Puree the tomatoes, ginger and green chilies. Keep aside. If using tomato paste, then just grate the ginger and chop the green chilies and keep aside.
  2. Heat oil in a cooker.
  3. Add the onions and fry them on medium high till they are golden brown.
  4. Add the coriander powder, red chili powder and turmeric powder.
  5. Mix well and cook for a minute, till the oil separates.
  6. Add the pureed tomato and cook on medium high till the oil separates.
  7. Add the peas and potatoes. Saute for a few minutes.
  8. Add 1.5 cups of water.
  9. Close the cooker and after 2 whistles, turn it off.
  10. Let the steam out naturally.
  11. Boil the curry till required consistency, adding more water if needed.
  12. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve.

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