Sunday, October 28, 2012

Coconut Rice And An Orphaned Blog

My poor poor blog. Its really been orphaned. Left it for so long.. I wonder if it will allow me to blog in these pages again. I have realised one thing. Every time I say I am going to be more regular and post ever so often, I fall off the wagon  and end up not blogging at all. Unforgivable on my part. So from now on no promises of blogging once a day  week month or even year. Posts will appear when they do. And if they are seldom and only once in a way, then so be it. No feelings of guilt. And I hope The Bubbling Cauldron and you , my dear readers will forgive me.

Coconut rice has to be one of V's favorite foods. And so it makes its appearance on the table a little more often than posts do on this blog. Simple to make, it has a richness from its main ingredient, coconut. It takes next to no time. The only painful part is grating of the coconut. Fortunately you get ready freshly grated coconut in the vegetable shops these days. Makes life so simple.

Now on to the recipe..


2 cups Grated coconut
2 cups cooked rice

For tadka:
1 tablespoon Oil
1/2 teaspoon Mustard seeds
1 tablespoon Bengal Gram Dal
1 tablespoon Urad Dal
2 tablespoons  Cashew nuts broken
4 sprigs Curry Leaves
2 Green Chillis Chopped
4-5 Red Chillis

Salt to taste


Saute the coconut on medium heat till well roasted and starts getting golden brown.

Cool and mix well with the rice and the salt to taste.

Heat oil. Add all the tadka ingredients. Fry till cashews are golden brown.

Put in the coconut/rice mixture.

Stir till well mixed.

Serve hot or at room temperature.


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Rose Cake - Pretty Icing

I saw this cake one day while trawling the food blog sites and I HAD to try it out. It looked absolutely beautiful and the author of the blog  promised that it was the easiest thing to do. I have not iced a cake for the longest time. I have almost forgotten most of the techniques. But looking at this particular cake spurred me on to try my hand once more at it. Immediately requested sister in law to please locate and send me the Wilton 1M icing tip. Got it and then started planning on what flavor of cake I should make. The idea of the usual suspect chocolate was discarded much to the dismay of my chocoholic son. I wanted an icing that looked pretty and light coloured. So made a coffee cake recipe of which will follow.

Then decided I wanted to make cupcakes rather than a regular round cake. So went and bought a new muffin pan. Preheated the smaller oven as my bigger oven was out of action, made the batter, got the cupcake liners out and then poured it into the  muffin pan. Went to put the pan into the oven and.... THE DAMN THING WOULD NOT FIT. What an epic fail. Then very messily poured the batter back, got an older 6 muffin pan which would fit into the small oven. Baked the cupcakes and made a smaller cake.
Went ahead with the butter cream icing and iced both the cupcakes and the cake (few mishaps with the icing, but that is a story for another day). I guess I managed to get both done and was happy with the results (please note I did not say very or ecstatically happy - just happy).

Now you tell me what you think. Looks good?  You are not allowed to compare it to the original one. For precise instructions on exactly how to do this, check out the link above.



100 grams Butter
3-4 cups of Icing Sugar
2 tablespoons Milk
Flavoring ( I used 2 teaspoons of instant coffee powder)


Soften the butter to room temperature.
Sieve the icing sugar along with the coffee powder and pour it into the the softened butter.
Mix well. Add the milk a little at a time till a soft consistency is obtained.
Now for icing the cake ( i.e covering ) you need a little softer icing.
For floral and other decorative icing, make sure it is a little stiffer so that the shape will hold.
Ice the cake.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Shrikhand - Half Empty Nest Syndrome

My older son has just gone off to study some more ( much against his wishes at first). But now he is thrilled to go and make his own life. No more nagging from mom for a long time. But he did not bargain for a tech savvy  mom who can buzz him on Whatsapp every now and then and ending up being a real pain in the ass caring mom.  People keep asking me how I am feeling now that my nest is half empty. I feel quite guilty to say I am fine and very happy for him. I guess with technology the way it is today, he is just one ping away. So it has really not been that hard. And I always have my second one to keep me on my toes and not have enough time to miss Vish.

My older one is very partial to Shrikhand. This is his most favorite dessert and he can eat it by the bowlfuls.  So this post is for him. Hopefully he will soon learn how to make it on his own using greek yoghurt which does not need draining out the whey.

Simply put, Shrikhand is thick yoghurt drained of every last drop of moisture sweetened with sugar and flavoured with cardamom powder and saffron and garnished with almonds.
Usually, you make curd with full fat milk and tie it in a cheesecloth overnight to strain all the whey out. But this makes it a bit sour thanks to the Indian weather. So our way out is to make the curd and tie it and leave it to drain the refrigerator overnight. By the morning we have this nice thick and creamy yogurt left ready to be made into shrikhand which is not sour.


2 liters + 2 teaspoons Full Cream Milk
1/4 teaspoon Saffron
1 cup Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Cardamom Powdered
50 grams Almonds 


Make the milk into curd. Tie in a cheesecloth or muslin cloth and hang till all the whey has drained out. Remove hung curd into a bowl.

Heat the 2 teaspoons of milk and add saffron to it. Rub well till the milk gets an orange hue.

Mix into the hung curd. Add the sugar and cardamom powder and mix well. Check for sweetness. Add more sugar if required.

Blanch the almonds in a little hot water. Peel and dice the almonds into small bits.

Add to the Shrikhand. 

Serve cold.


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Vegetable Pulao - Another One Pot Meal

This post is literally hot off the stove. I made it, took the pictures while it was still steaming, had lunch and came up to write this post. So here it is .
Don't you just love Sunday afternoon meals? I think this day in particular lends itself very well to a one pot meal consisting mainly of rice followed by a very quick leap into the bed for a nice afternoon siesta. Though, here I have to admit that I did not have the aforementioned siesta. But I still enjoyed the afternoon, tucking into the pulao and spending time with the family.
Except for the lack of protein in this meal, I pack it with a LOT of vegetables. My kids complain about it all the time saying that it has more veggies than rice but I simply cannot help myself. I feel every meal needs to be nourishing and good for the body in some form or the other.
This pulao is different from a biryani in that there are no tomatoes used.  It is just a different tasting dish. A lot milder actually and not so full of spices and masalas. Quite delicious to say the least.

Now for the recipe.

This recipe serves 6-8 people for a meal in itself.


Masala Paste

Garlic 8 cloves
Ginger - 2 inch piece
Green Chillis - 4
Cardamom - 4 pods
Cloves - 4
Cinnamon - 2 inch piece
Mint leaves - about 1/4 cup

Basmati rice - 3 cups
Onions - 3 sliced
Bayleaf - 3-4
Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
Ghee/ Oil - 3 tablespoons
Salt to taste

Carrots - 1cup diced ( About 350 grams)
Cauliflower - 1 cup cut into small florets
Beans - 1 cup diced
Peas - 1 cup

Coriander leaves 2 tablespoons


Grind the masala paste ingredients with a little water till it is a fines paste.

Soak the Basmati rice in water for about half an hour.

Heat ghee/oil (or a combination of the two) on a medium flame.

Add the cumin seeds and bay leaf till the cumin turns golden.

Add the sliced onions and fry till it turns translucent and then add the masala paste.

Fry well. Add the vegetables other than the cauliflower.

Drain and add the rice. Fry for a few minutes.

Add  4-5 cups of water, salt cauliflower and coriander leaves.

Cook in a pressure cooker or a rice cooker till just done.

Serve hot with onion raita.


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Apple Crumble Topped Cake with a Brown Sugar Glaze

Apple crumble cake - it sounded so interesting. The concept of a cake with a crumble topping and beautiful sugar glaze was fascinating to say the least. Very easy to make, the combination of apple, cinnamon, brown sugar, butter... was just like an apple pie in a cake form.

I really loved the taste of this and felt it made for a lovely dessert.


100 grams Butter
1 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
2 cups All Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon Cinnamon powder
1/2  teaspoon Salt
1 cup Yoghurt
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 cups Peeled Cored Chopped Apples

1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon Powder
4 tablespoons Butter softened

1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 tablespoons Water


Preheat oven to 350 deg F. Grease a 13 X 9 inch baking dish with a little butter.

Soften the butter. Cream with sugar till light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time till well mixed.

Sift the flour, salt, cinnamon powder and baking soda.

Add little by little to the butter egg mixture alternating with the yoghurt.

Fold in the chopped apples and pour into the greased dish.

Combine the sugar, flour cinnamon powder and butter till the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Sprinkle evenly over the cake batter and bake for  about 30 to 35 minutes.

Remove and cool for 10 minutes before pouring on the glaze.

Mix the sugar, vanilla and water till smooth. Pour over the warm cake and leave to harden.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Orange Marmalade

We had a wedding in the family recently. It was so much fun. For a wedding which supposed to be short and sweet, it ended up being  a loooooong wedding going over almost three months. Yes. You did read that right. Three months. Each month had a different function. But the good part of that was that  we thoroughly enjoyed each and every ceremony and function. When the ceremonies run continuously over a period of 3-4 days, then you get so tired after the first cocktail party, that  the remaining  events just go off in a blur. You don't remember the food, the decor, anything.

But the point of bringing up the wedding was that when a brides family came home for the first time, it is customary to bring some fruit and sweets. But this family brought these vast quantities of fruit. Enough to feed an army for a month. Really.
In that lot of fruit, were these two bags of little oranges. When I say little I mean little. They were really cute as a button. But not sure what to do with them, we decided to make marmalade with it.

This was my first foray into the world of jam making. It came out quite well but it does not last too long. As there are no preservatives, you have to be extremely careful in sterilising the jars and in using dry spoons to serve.

Very easy to make and not too many ingredients.


1 kilogram Clementine Oranges ( you can use tangerines too)
1 kilogram Sugar
Juice of two Limes


Wash the clementines well. Cut them into quarters.

Take out the seeds and pith (the white part of the peel).

Tie the seeds and the pith in a little muslin bag.

Put the quartered clementines into the blender and blend till the skin is into small bits. Be careful not to make it a paste. It has to have a bite as we are not cutting the peel into slivers.

Put it into a thick saucepan along with 3 cups of water and the juice of the limes.

Add the sugar and bring to a rolling boil. Keep cooking stirring at regular intervals till it starts thickening and reaching a setting point.

Check if it is reached that point by putting a couple of drops on a plate and pushing it when cool. If it starts wrinkling, then the marmalade is ready.

Cool till it is room temperature, then pour into the sterilised bottles and seal.

Serve on toast or use in cakes...