Deepavali Sweets – Soft Badam Halwa

How to make soft Home made Badam Halwa


1 Cup Almonds soaked

1 Cup Sugar

¾ Cup Ghee

¾ Cup Milk

Pinch of salt


Remove the skin from almonds and grind them to a coarse sandy paste adding just a few drops of milk.

Take  a  heavy kadai and add the measured amount of milk and saffron

And in a few minutes add the ground almond paste and stir in

As it cooks add some ghee and then the sugar.

The mixture loosens but keep stirring on medium low flame and add all the ghee little by little.

When the paste starts to pull away from the sides, switch off and allow to cool

Serve warm Badam Halwa!

My favorite memory of Badam Halwa is when my grandmother made it for Diwali and waiting to taste it on Diwali morning after bursting crackers,,Whats your fav Diwali memory?


Indo-Chinese Cooking. · Rice Varieties.

Cashew Fried Rice >> Under 10 mins.

There is really no substitute for the comfort that the soul derives, from forking out a large spoonful of piping hot fried rice and eating it slowly, with exploding flavors. We love our cashew fried rice from our favorite Thai restaurant Pearl at St Louis, and Simply Thai at Frisco, Texas.

This is a small effort to try to recrearte this magic. Hope you enjoy it and please leave your comments. You can substitute jasmine rice with brown rice/ quinoa/ cauliflower rice for a low carb version.


1 Tbsp  Sugar

1 Tsp Light Soya Sauce

2 Tsp Dark Soya Sauce

3 Tsp Hoisin Sauce

1 Tsp Red Chilli paste

1/2 Tsp Pepper Powder

1 Tsp Sesame Oil.


1 cup Jasmine Rice cooked.

1 Cup Firm Tofu.

4 Garlic cloves chopped.

2 inch Ginger Chopped.

3 stalks of green onions chopped.

1/2 onion diced into large pieces and separated.

Handful of raw cashews.


  • The process of cooking is very easy and cooking time is very less and on high flame, Keep all ingredients close to you.
  • 1 day  old rice is the best if not substitute with jasmine rice or long grained rice.
  • Chop all veggies and keep ready.
  • Add all ingredients for Sauce in to a cup and whisk.
  • Remove all water from the tofu. Pat it dry. 


  • Add 2-3 tbsp of oil, sauté Tofu in oil and remove from wok. 
  • In the same wok add 2 tbsp of oil on medium high flame and add the chopped ginger, garlic, and base portion of the green onions.
  • Fry for a few minutes and then immediately add onions. 
  • In 30 seconds, add the prepared sauce on the wok. Do not allow onions to get mushy.
  • It will bubble and cook in the oil. Stir, to coat the garlic and  onions getting fried in the wok.
  • Add the cooked and cooled rice, tofu and cashew and quickly start mixing  to coat the rice and tofu.
  • Add salt as needed.
  • Cook until slightly caramelized and transfer to a serving dish. Garnish with cilantro and spring onions. 

Serve HOT.

Keto/ Low Carb Friendly. · Side Dishes for Rotis/Dosas/ Naan.

Shaadi Wali Gobhi ki Sabzi

Cauliflower is a vegetable that`s both versatile and easy, at the same time can take the taste of any preparation or dish. When I saw this dish on Sandy`s cooking page, I wanted to try it immediately. Shaadi wali Gobhi uses simple ingredients in the pantry, but is very flavorful because of the way its prepared. I substituted Alu with panneer, so it satisfies my high fat requirement.


2 Cups Cauliflower

1 cup Paneer,

2 Cloves, 2 Cardamom pieces, a small bay leaf, 1 inch Cinnamon.

1 Tsp jeera

1 Tsp Ginger Garlic Paste

1 Onion chopped fine

1 Tsp Red Chilli Powder

1 Tsp Dhania Powder

1/4 Tsp Turmeric

2 Tomatoes pureed

1/2 Cup Yoghurt

1 Cup Water

2-3 Green Chillies

1 Tsp Kasuri Methi

1/2 Tsp Garam Masala


Roast cauliflower and aloo in a little oil seperately. (I used paneer instead).

In a kadai, add 2 tsp oil.

Add 2 cloves, 2 cardamom, a small piece of bay leaf and 1 inch cinnamon and sauté for 30 seconds

Add 1 tsp jeera – fry for 30 seconds. Now add 1 tsp ginger garlic paste. Sauté.

Add 1 chopped onion and fry until golden brown. Cook covered.

Now add the Red Chilli powder, dhania powder and turmeric and fry for 30 seconds.

Next to the kadai, add the puree of 2 tomatoes. The tomatoes shd cook well so cover and cook for 5 mins until it leaves oil.

Add ½ cup yoghurt and keep mixing.Cover and cook again and now base gravy is ready.

Add 1 cup water to dilute,  2 green chilies, kasuri methi and ½ tsp garam masala and mix.

When it starts boiling add roasted gobhi and paneer.

Mix well until taste goes into the cauliflower and aloo.

Cover and cook and garnish with cilantro.

Serve hot with Peas Pulav and sliced cucumber.

Keto/ Low Carb Friendly. · Salads/ Recipes for the Calorie Conscious. · Soups

One Pot Spinach Soup – and a secret ingredient!


Spinach is one leafy vegetable which is needed to be included in our daily diet. This soup has been a staple since I made it a few months ago when i added leftover veggies and herbs in an effort to clean out the ingredients in the refrigerator. We loved the subtle flavors of this soup combined with the gentle undertones of the ginger and the last thing on your mind is spinach. This soup is forgiving and extremely flavourful.


  • 1 big bunch spinach
  • 2 stalks green onions
  • 10 crescents of regular onion sliced.
  • 1 -2 clove of garlic
  • 4 thin slices of ginger
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup of heavy cream (or ) 1 Ripe Avocado and 1/4 cup milk.
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 Tsp Sugar.
  • 1-2 Tbsp Ghee/ butter/ oil.


  • Line the base of your cooker with butter/ ghee or oil.
  • Toss in  sliced onions, garlic, ginger ,green onion and then the chopped spinach.
  • Add a quick  sprinkle of water, and allow to cook for a few mins on open stove or cover and cook for one whistle and open quickly by releasing pressure.
  • This keeps the spinach  very green and fresh.
  • Quickly purée with water/ milk/ heavy cream along with salt, sugar, and pepper powder.
  • Avoid heavy cream and add avocado (secret ingredient) instead for a dose of buttery healthy goodness.
  • Serve with hot with a  drizzle of  cream and home made or store bought croutons.

A great way to sneak in veggies and spinach in to your soups. The color is impeccable and the slightest hint of ginger is very appealing and enjoyable.


Cakes / Pastries / Cookies/ Bread/Muffins.

Moistest Chocolate Cake – Topped with Chocolate Ganache & Hersheys Inspired Frosting!

Moistest Chocolate Cake Ever!


  • 2 cups All Purpose Flour.
  • 2 cups  sugar
  • 3/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup  buttermilk
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup  hot water


  • 6 oz (1 cup | 169g) semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • Sprinkles


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
  • 2/3 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency.
  • Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.


1. Prepare 2 9 inch cake pans with parchment paper circles in the bottom, and grease the sides. Preheat oven to 300°F (148°C).
2. Add all dry ingredients to a large bowl and whisk together.
3. Add eggs, buttermilk and vegetable oil to the dry ingredients and mix well.
4. Add vanilla to boiling water and add to mixture. Mix well.
5. Divide batter evenly between cakes pans and bake for 30-33 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.
6. Remove cakes from oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes, then remove to cooling racks to cool completely.
7. Prepare ganache by heating the heavy whipping cream on low hear just until it begins to boil, then pour it over the chocolate chips. Allow it to sit for 2-3 minutes, then whisk until smooth.warming chocolate chips

8. Place first layer of cake on cake plate. Spread the softest chocolate frosting on top of the base cake layer. Spread about a few tsp of prepared ganache and allow to drip.
9. Add second layer of cake and frost the entire cake on all sides.

10.Now add more ganache on the top and allow to drip. Use a squeeze bottle to allow it to drip on the sides.

11. Add a few sprinkles to the cake, if desired, then serve. Cake is best when well covered for 3-4 days. I used edible silver and rose petals for this one as I had baked this for a dear friend, who loves roses.

12. Many times I use only frosting or ganache interchangeably depending on how quickly I want to whip up the cake and the ingredient in my pantry!!!

Wholly Inspired by Lindsay`s Best Chocolate Cake Recipe & @hersheys.

Cakes / Pastries / Cookies/ Bread/Muffins. · Kid Friendly Recipes.

Spongy Challah Bread

Soft , warm Challah Bread topped with sesame seeds


Challah is a Jewish plaited bread that is eaten with the first course on the sabbath eve. It’s also eaten the next day at breakfast and lunch. When we saw all social media grids flooded with all kinds of freshly baked bread, we knew that this was something I wanted to try. All the staying at home during the pandemic made us excited to lay our hands on yeast baking. We loved the soft soft pillowy texture and this could stay perfect for almost 5 days…that is if you manage to not eat it for that long!


3.5 cups (500g) Flour

1 tbsp (10g) instant dry yeast

3.5 tbsp (42g) white sugar

1 Egg for Baking

1 Egg for brushing

¼ cup (50g) canola oil

1 cup – 2 tbsp (200ml) warm water

1 tsp (6g) salt


1.In a large mixing bowl sift all-purpose flour, add yeast, sugar and mix. Add 1 egg, warm water and oil.

2.With a dough hook attachment, knead the dough on low speed for 2 minutes, then add the salt and knead 5-6 minutes more.

3.Shape a ball from the dough and place in an oiled bowl, cover with a towel or plastic wrap. Let the dough rise about an hour (until double in size) in a warm place. (This is Rise 1)

4.Cut the dough into 3 pieces (if you want 1 large challah).

5.Roll each piece of dough into a long rope roughly 1-inch thick and start braiding the dough

6.Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and carefully life and put the loaf on top, cover with towel and let rise about an hour. (This is Rise 2)

7.Preheat oven to 360F / 180c .

After Rise 2.

8.Brush with beaten egg or warm milk and sprinkle with sesame seeds (optional).

9.Bake 20-30 minutes until the top browns to a rich golden color (depends on loaf size/ Oven Capabiliy/ Humidity).

10.Let cool at least 30 minutes.


Please document rising times/ baking times in your location as there are various small factors that might cause differences.

I used king Arthur unbleached All Purpose Flour. Please try recipe as is and make modifications and substitutions.


Cakes / Pastries / Cookies/ Bread/Muffins. · Low Carb Desserts · Sweets

Low Carb Vanilla Cake with Raspberry Cream Cheese Frosting.

The best thing about this cake is that its fuss free – dump ALL ingredients in to a bowl, mix, bake and you are done! Its best eaten plain and is a great snack to have after a spicy meal when you crave for something sweet. At the same time its not overly sweet and that’s one of the best things that I love about this cake. I cannot eat more than a mouthful of cake that’s too sweet. Try this and its perfect sweetness, balanced with the moistness of the cake definitely make it a keeper.


1 ¾ cup of almond flour

¼ cup of all All Purpose Flour

¾ cup of Sugar/ Erythritol / Monk fruit.

1 tsp of baking powder

½ tsp baking soda  

2 large eggs

¼ cup olive oil

½ cup butter (1 stick) brought to room temperature

1 cup buttermilk

1 tsp vanilla extract

A pinch of salt.

Raspberry Cream Cheese Frosting:

8 Oz Softened Cream Cheese
4 Tbsp Butter
¾ Cup Powdered Erithytol
1/4 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Vanilla Essence
1 Tsp Raspberry Extract
A few pieces of finely diced Raspberries.

  • Whip the cream cheese and butter in a stand mixer until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides as needed.
  • Add the powdered erythritol. Mix for 2-3 minutes until fluffy. Scrape down the sides and mix for another minute.
  • Add the raspberry extract and mix.


  • Sieve the Almond Flour to air it.
  • Add all the ingredients of the cake in to a bowl –  Almond flour, All purpose flour, sweetener / Sugar, eggs, baking powder, baking soda, butter, olive oil , room temperature buttermilk and  vanilla extract.
  • Use a silicon spoon and mix everything together.
  • No need to beat and over mix.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F , grease a 9 inch round baking pan and line with parchment paper.
  • Pour the cake batter and bake for 35-40 mins or until a toothpick that’s inserted in to the cake comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool.
  • This cake is very tasty and not too sweet and resembles a basic sponge cake. You can eat this cake as it is.


  • I was celebrating a birthday and wanted to go all fancy with icing and two layers!
  • I doubled the quantity and make 2 9” inch round cakes.
  • When cooled, place one cake on a stand.
  • Add Raspberry cream cheese icing layer ( This step can be omitted).
  • Decorate with small pieces of chopped raspberry.
  • Place second 9 inch cake and cover with icing.
  • Decorate as required.

Frosting flavors that I have used:

  • Coffee Whipped Cream Icing.
  • Orange Icing.
  • Pineapple icing.
  • Lemon Icing.
  • Chocolate Icicing

Cakes / Pastries / Cookies/ Bread/Muffins.

Sparkling Gulab Jamun Cheese Cake – Gelatin Free Version.

Gulab Jamun Cheese Cake


21/2 Cups Powdered Marie biscuits

50 gms butter, melted
5 gms agar agar (unflavoured china grass)
1 cup water
400 gms Cream Cheese

120 g sugar

200g Sour Cream

200ml whipping cream
1.5 Tsp cardamom powder

Pinch of saffron strands soaked in 1 tsp milk
Tiny pinch of salt
15 home made or Store bought Gulab jamuns
Chopped pistachios & dried rose petals for garnish


Place all the biscuits in the food processor and pulse to a powder.

Add 1 Tsp Cardamom and melted butter and mix. The resulting mixture resembles the consistency of wet sand.

Line a spring form pan with parchment paper and pour this mixture.

Use a flat based cup or ladle and firmly press the biscuit mixture on to the base.

Cover spring form pan with cling wrap and refrigerate.

In a bowl add the softened cream cheese and whisk/ mix briskly. You do not require a stand mixer, but it can be utilized for a hands free working.

Now add the 120 gms sugar and whisk briskly until combined to a soft batter consistency.

Add 200 gms of sour cream (OR) hung yoghurt ( with absolutely no water) (OR) Greek yoghurt, the pinch of milk with soaked saffron strands (optional) and keep mixing.

Finally add 200 ml of whipping cream and mix vigorously.

Add 5 gms agar agar to 1 cup water in a sauce pan and soak for ten mins

Place sauce pan in the stove and slowly cook the agar agar in the water on a low flame with intermittent stirring. Set aside.

Pour the bloomed and warmed agar agar mix into  the cream cheese mixture and set aside.

Optionally add a pinch of cardamom powder and mix in.

Remove the chilled base from the refrigerator and arrange half sliced gulab jamuns completely on the chilled biscuit base.

Pour the mixed cream cheese batter on to the base and smoothen the top.

Cover with cling wrap and place inside the top shelf of the refrigerator.

Remove after a minimum of 3-4  hours for the cheesecake to be set well.

Decorate the top of the cheesecake with rose petals/ crushed pistachios/ gulab jamuns and silver varq.

Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

A great option to take to a Diwali potluck or a Indian fusion party!

Cakes / Pastries / Cookies/ Bread/Muffins.

Fragrant Pumpkin Spice Cake

Pumpkin Spice Cake

This game changer cake have been a “fall” post, but then time flies you know and I had to finally document this recipe here for all the folks that kept asking for it! This one was inspired by @Sallysbakingaddiction and I love the heady fragrance of all the warm spices. The cream cheese frosting takes the cake to a whole different level. And by the way, you can totally make this cake without a stand mixer!


2 Cups All Purpose Flour

2 Tsp Baking Powdr

1 TSp Baking Soda

1 Cup Brown Sugar packed. ( I used Imperial brand)

1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar

1 Tsp Salt

2 Tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice*

1.5 Tsp Ground Cinnamon

1 Cup Vegetable Oil

4 Large Eggs

1 Can Pumpkin Puree

1.5 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract.


1/2 Cup Butter at room temperature

3 cups Caster Sugar / Powdered Sugar

1 Tsp Vanilla Essence

8 Oz Cream Cheese at room temperature

Let’s get started…


Preheat oven to 350F and grease baking pan.

Take a dry bowl and dry whisk the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon powder and pumpkin pie spice together. Set aside.

In another bowl whisk the eggs, oil, brown sugar, white sugar, pumpkin puree and vanilla extract with a whisk until combined.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until well combined and the batter is thick,

Spread the batter on to the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a tooth pick that’s inserted, comes out clean.

*Pumpkin Pie Spice: 1/2 Tsp Each of the following: Ground Nutmeg, All Spice, Cloves and Ginger.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

Make sure that all ingredeitns are room temperature.

Beat all the ingredients until combined.

Frosting the cake:

Allow the cake to cool to room temperature and smear a thin layer of the frosting. This is called the Crumb layer of frosting and its needed to have a clean second layer without any of the cake crumbs.

Refrigerate for an hour.

Slather second layer of cream cheese frosting on the cake and decorate as you wish.

Italian Cuisine.

Olive Garden Style Vegetable Lasagna


Olive Garden`s Lasagna Classico is a very popular dish for kids and adults alike. As a id all celebrations, birthdays and get togethers with family or friends are always at Olive Garden. This is a vegetarian version inspired by various versions online as well as my own adaptation of this dish. Although it seems to have a lot of ingredients, its simply a matter of adding them together to create this dish, Both the tomato sauce and the cheese sauce can be prepared ahead and the Lasgagna assembled on the day its required. A great party dish for kids or an excellent addition to a potluck. This preparation contains around 7-8 servings and can be stored frozen, in a container covered with cling film.


Lasagna Sheets ( I used no bake)

Prepared Tomato Sauce

Prepared Ricotta Mix

1.5 Cups Mozzarella

Cooking Spray

Tomato Sauce:

2  28 Oz  Can Crushed Tomatoes

3 Tbsp Onion

1 Onion

2-3 Garlic Pods

2 Zucchini diced fine.

1 Yellow Squash diced fine.

1/4 Tsp Dry oregano

1/4 Tsp Dry Basil

Salt + Pepper to taste

Cheese Sauce:

2 Pounds Ricotta Cheese

1 Cup Mozzarella

1/2 Cup Romano

1 Tbsp Fresh Parsley leaves

1 Tbsp Fresh basil leaves

1 Tbsp Oregano Leaaves.

1 Egg Beaten (Optional)

Salt + Pepper to taste


  • In a large pan, add the 3 Tbsp Oil and then the garlic and the diced onions. Allow them to saute and sweat until translucent.
  • Add diced zucchini and yellow squash and allow to saute.
  • Pour in the 2 cans of crushed tomato, dry oregano, basil, salt and pepper.
  • Reduce the heat to a simmer and let it simmer for 20 mins.
  • Hearty Tomato Sauce is ready.


  • In another bowl add 2 pounds of whole milk ricotta cheese, 1 Cup Mozarella Cheese, 1/2 Cup Romano Cheese and fold them together.
  • Now add 1 beaten egg, all the fresh herbs (substitute with dried, but fresh leaves really makes all the difference), salt and pepper and combine.
  • Set aside. Now both Tomato Sauce and Cheese Sauce are ready. Make sure they both are at room temperature.


  • Preheat the oven to 350 F(Boiled Lasagna Sheets) and 425F (No boil lasagna Sheets).
  • Line your baking dish with oil or cooking spray.
  • Pour 1 Cup of Tomato Sauce on the base of the dish as the first layer and spread.
  • Lay your lasagna sheets (No boil or Boiled) in a single layer to completely cover the tomato sauce layer.
  • Spread a cup of cheese sauce over the lasagna sheets. Spread thinly without ripping the sheets.
  • Now add 1 cup of tomato sauce covering the cheese sauce completely.
  • Layer lasagna sheets and cheese sauce and repeat the process alternatively until all the sheets are exhausted.


  • Finish the top layer with tomato sauce and sprinkle a generous 1 to 1.5 cups of mozzarella cheese on the top.
  • Coat the inner side of an aluminium foil with oil spray and use it to completely cover the baking dish.
  • The foil keeps the top layer from getting over cooked while the middle layers complete cooking.
  • Bake for 50 – 55 mins and when done turn off the heat.
  • Keep the lasagna as is in the oven with  the oven door slightly open.
  • Remove from oven and make uniform square cuts to the lasagna.
  • They will be well set and firm but well cooked and delicious.
  • Makes 16-20 pieces depending on pan size.