Monday, March 20, 2017

Phool Makhana Curry / Lotus seed curry

Phool Makhana or puffed lotus seeds is a highly nutritious protein rich food. The nutrients contained are the super source for vitamin, mineral and fiber while the medical properties have been proven to be beneficial for diabetic patient and those who have hypertension history.
Phool Makhana is not so familiar for Malayalees. But it is truly worth a try to make it and I am sure you will love it.
  1. Phool Makhana/ puffed lotus seeds - 2.5 cups
  2. Onion, sliced - 3 cups
  3. Tomato, cut - 2 medium size
  4. Ginger, chopped - 1 tbs
  5. Garlic, chopped - 1 tbs
  6. Badam/Almonds, peeled, soaked - 1/2 cup
  7. Oil - 2 tbs + 2tbs
  8. Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
  9. Chilli powder -  1 tsp
  10. Coriander powder - 2 tsp
  11. Garam masala - 1 tsp
  12. Tomato ketchup - 1 tbs
  13. Ghee/butter - 1 tbs
  14. Milk cream - 1 tbs, optional
  15. Salt to taste
  1. Dry roast phool makhana for 3-4 minutes
  2. Heat 2 tbs oil in a pan and sauté onion, ginger  and garlic till soft
  3. Add tomato and sauté till tomato is mushy
  4. switch off the heat and keep it aside to reach room temperature
  5. Blend the above with almonds to fine paste
  6. Heat 2 tbs oil in a pan and splutter cumin seeds in it.
  7. Add the above paste and saute till the mixture is thickened and oil can be seen in the paste
  8. Add salt and all the spice powder and sauté for a minute or two
  9. Add 2 cups of water, tomato ketchup and phool makhana to the above
  10. Cook phool makhana for about 15 minutes with closed lid till it is soft
  11. Switch off the stove and top with butter
Phool Makhana curry is ready to be served with Roti or Pulav

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Victoria Sponge Cake

Me : What kind of cake do you like most?
My Friend : I like chocolate cake the most
Me : Tell me some other cake
My Friend : Red Velvet Cake
Me : Hmm, something else, Red Velvet cake is so common these days..
My Friend : I have told you the cakes which I like the most
Me : Hehe,  I am looking for any new cake for me to try baking, Suggest something different or unique
My Friend : How about Victoria Sponge Cake?
Me : That sounds new to me, by the way what is it?
My Friend :  It is a kind of sponge cake..
Me : Hmm... Sponge Cake.. Sponge Cakes usually have emulsifier in it, which is not good for health..
My Friend : Is it?
Me : Yes...

A few months later...

I was planning to visit my dear friend Diya to see her new born baby boy and, I wanted to bake a cake for them. And this time I didn't want to make something which I have baked before...
After all the recipe search through internet and books, I finally landed on a page which read "Victoria Sponge Cake". The name definitely sounded interesting and familiar this time. And yes, it is not the conventional egg white sponge cake or emulsifier sponge cake. The method was different and new to me. Here goes the recipe for the yummy Victoria Sponge Cake.

  1. Superfine castor sugar - 175gm
  2. Self-raising flour - 175gm
  3. Butter - 175gm
  4. Egg - 180gm (large 3 eggs)
  5. Vanilla paste - 1tbs


  • Use all the ingredients at room temperature
  • Preheat the oven for a minimum of 20 minutes before baking the cake


  1. Preheat the oven to 175 degree C.
  2. Butter and line 2 X 6inch pan with parchment paper
  3. In a standing mixer bowl or any big bowl. beat butter and sugar till light and creamy. This takes about 2 minutes, medium speed in stand mixer
  4. In another bowl, lightly mix egg and vanilla.
  5. Sift the flour several times and keep aside.
  6. Add a little egg in the butter mixture and beat for about 30 sec.
  7. Add a little flour to the above and beat for about 30 sec.
  8. Continue adding egg and flour in 4-5 steps and beat well after each addition until the batter is smooth
  9. Divide the batter among the prepared pan, level the batter and make a small dip in the center using a spoon.
  10. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer dipped in the cake center comes out clean
  11. Turn out the cake on to a wire rack and keep it till it cools to room temperature.

Victoria sponge cake is cake ready to be served as it is or layer it with cream cheese frosting and fruit filling and decorate as you like. In the above picture I have used cream cheese frosting with blueberry filling.