Search A n R

Friday, March 30, 2012

Guest Post ~ Richa's Vegan Marble / Zebra Cake

I am happy to have Richa of Hobby and More here at AnR. She is a very popular Vegan food blogger, dog lover and an awesome human being who has her pretty head over her shoulders. :)..I love her approach to food and the effort to keep the recipe simple. Her pictures are amazing and actually motivate you to try the recipe. I am in awe of her baking skills. Breads, cakes, and cookies are just a few of her specialties. Here is a sample of her awesomeness!!

Over to Richa :)

Thank you Sudha for sharing your space with me today! I love your passion for design, your constant efforts to keep this world greener and pollutant free, and Indian comfort food at Avial and Rasam. Keep on with your green efforts and hopefully we will make this world plastic free someday.
Today we are talking about baking with different types of flours. I made 2 versions of this marbled Zebra cake. One had been sitting in my drafts waiting for the second version. The first version has all purpose flour and whole wheat pastry flour, pantry items easily available in the US. The second version uses freshly milled soft white wheat berries. The lighter pictures are the AP version, and the deeper light brown layers are whole wheat version. Dont let this write up scare you, the recipe is short and sweet.:)

For a long time I was always confused about all the different types of wheat flours(Its not like I am completely sure right now :), but I figured it out enough to know what I like where after trials and errors. We have a whole bunch of options with Whole Wheat flour, Whole Wheat pastry flour, Cake flour, Bread flour, Atta(Indian wheat flour), maida(indian all purpose flour) and more! What to you use where?
Cake flour has the lowest gluten, soft wheat and finely milled.
Bread flour is a blend of high gluten hard wheat varieties and is coarser than all purpose flour,
Whole wheat flour is high gluten hard wheat.
Whole wheat pastry flour is soft wheat, low gluten.
All purpose flour is processed fine and a mix of low gluten soft wheat and high gluten hard wheat
Atta(Indian whole wheat flour used for roti/chapati) is hard wheat, milled finer than whole wheat flour and has higher gluten than all purpose flour. Atta can be used in yeast breads but tends to make cakes, quick breads, muffins etc harder and coarse because of the gluten formation while mixing.
To get a complete picture, check out this article on Indiacurry. and some more wheat flours on wiki here
For cakes, quick breads, muffins, the best option usually is Cake flour or all purpose flour.(lower gluten)
For healthier versions, use Whole wheat pastry flour or any other whole grain flour which is low in gluten or mix in some glutenfree flours.
If you can find soft wheat and mill it or make flour yourself, then you can mill a finer version and use that too. I got a Blendtec and made my own flour with soft white wheat berries and made wheat only version of this cake which didnt make a stiff batter or a tough cake! The flour when milled was somewhere between AP flour and whole wheat pastry flour in terms of texture and the batter was actually more flowy and predictable than the one with the pastry flour.
Find me on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
8 inch cake pan
Ingredients: with AP flour
1 Tablespoon flax meal
2 Tablespoons virgin coconut oil, melted
3 Tablespoons organic canola oil
1 cup water
2 Tablespoons orange juice
1/2 teaspoon vinegar
8 Tablespoons raw sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1.25 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
Spices: 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ginger powder, 1/8 teaspoon cloves powder
3+ Tablespoons cocoa powder
Ingredients with home milled soft white Whole wheat flour.
1/2 cup water
7 Tablespoons raw Sugar
1 Tablespoon light agave
1 Tablespoon coconut milk
1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar or 1 teaspoon vinegar
1/4 cup organic canola oil (or half virgin coconut and half organic canola oil)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/4 cup soft white whole wheat flour
1.25 teaspoon baking powder
2-3 Tbsp cocoa powder
Spices: 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ginger powder, 1/8 teaspoon cloves powder or add vanilla extract

In a bowl, whisk all the wet ingredients, salt and sugar until well combined. (Add flaxmeal to the wet for AP version)
In another bowl, whisk the flours, baking powder and spices and add to the wet ingredients.
Whisk until just about combined into a flowy batter. Use a few teaspoons more water or flour if needed, since the water absorption depends on the flours.
Transfer half of the cake mix to another bowl and add cocoa powder to it. Mix till combined.
The cocoa powder will thicken the batter a little, Add 2-3 teaspoons water to the cocoa batter to get it to the same consistency as the white batter.
Take 2 ladles or small bowls of the same size and pour a ladle of the white cake mix onto parchment lined or well greased cake pan.
Then pour a ladle of cocoa mix on top of the white mix.
Continue till all mix gets used up.
Bake in preheated 360 degrees F for 35-40 minutes until toothpick from the center comes out clean.
Serve as is, or topped with melted chocolate!

A huge thank you to Richa for this wonderful write and exotic pictures :). I am glad she agreed to be a part of AnR.  

Monday, March 26, 2012

Kool Kitchen Inspirations

Kitchen inspiration ~ vintage and practical

not everyone can afford or needs to have such pretty looking kitchens..No harm in admiring them..isnt it!

Pic: thekitchen~ Apartmenttherapy

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Thank you and some comfort food

Thank you all you lovely people who are a part of Avial and Rasam and are sending your love across to me. I dedicate this post to all those who care to stop by and leave their wonderful comments.

Wishing everyone happiness and peace. Enjoy your day as it wont return until four years from today :)

Comfort food - coconut, curd and lemon rice :)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Kandhi podi / Paruppu Podi ~ with almonds ~ Vegan and gluten free

Lunch menu definitely has atleast one thuvayal and/or a podi. They not only are a great way to induce protein into your diet but ingredients in them help in improving digestion, increase our intake of dals and much needed fiber. On a busy day, I do not mind finishing my lunch with a bowl of rice or broken wheat with a thuvayal and podi.

The twist
Kandhi podi or paruppu podi is a staple in most telugu and tamil homes. Among the variations I make, almond-paruppu combo is one of them. Whats also good about adding almonds is that oil from the almonds lends a distinct flavour and rules out the need for oil or ghee when mixed with rice.

You need: makes 3 cups
Tur / Tuvar dal / Kandhi pappu / tuvaram paruppu - 2 1/2 cups
almonds- 1/2 cup
Red chilies - 7-8 (i prefer medium to low spice)
salt- to taste
asafoetida - 3/4 tsp
peppercorns - 1 1/2 Tbsp
Sugar or jaggery - 1 Tbsp (optional)


  • Roast almonds til their skin starts to turn a little darker brown. (Do not over roast as burnt or excessively roasted almonds taste bitter)
  • set aside to cool
  • In the same pan, dry roast dal until it turns a little reddish and you get the aroma of tuvar. 
  • Transfer to same plate you set aside your almonds
  • Roast red chillies and peppercorns together (this may take 1 -2 minutes, not more)
  • When all the ingredients are cool to touch, Fine grind them with salt and asafoetida
  • Cool and transfer to an airtight container. If needed, refrigerate the podi (if made in larger quantities, and during summer - just to ensure that oils from almond do not spoil)

Serving suggestions: 

  • With Rice 
  • Stuffing for paratas
  • Garnish for pasta (yes, you read it right, pasta), salads, and regular stir fried vegetables. 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Whole Wheat, cornmeal and raisin ~ Vegan bread

I have not been posting bread recipes of late. This time around I wanted to try using the bread flour (I avoid using refined flour in general).

This experiment was to see if bread flour would make any difference in density and texture of the loaf. 100% whole wheat baking at home results in a slightly denser loaf. I avoid gluten in the flour and gluten helps in making the bread fluffier. I do not eat store bought baked goods so its difficult for me to assess the difference in home made and store ones. 

You need: 1 regular loaf
Bread flour - 1 1/2 cup
Whole wheat (king arthur or similar) - 1 cup
corn meal - 3 tbsp
Active dry yeast - 2 1/2 tsp
Water - 1 3/4 cup (Warm) (includes 1/2 cup for activating yeast)
Raw / unrefined / Turbinado sugar - 2 tbsp
maple syrup or honey - 1 tbsp
salt - 1/4 tsp
Raisins - 4 tsp or 1/4 cup
Rolled (cooking ) oats - 2 tsp (to sprinkle on top) (optional)
Olive oil - 1 1/2 tsp
Indian Garam masala - 1/2 tsp (optional)
Bread loaf tin - 1

Flour mix - Mix in the bread flour, whole wheat, corn meal, sugar, salt, garam masala and raisins
Divide the oil and pour in 1 tsp into the flour mix
Use 1/2 cup lukewarm water and mix honey or maple syrup
Add yeast and leave it to froth for ten minutes
Pour in the activated yeast and fold in the flour mix. Keep adding the rest of the water in small quantities and knead the dough to a (roti or a pizza dough consistency)
Let it rest for five minutes and knead it gently (This is to activate the gluten in the bread flour)
Grease the loaf pan and dust it with a little flour and transfer the well kneaded dough
Let it rise for 3 to 3 1/2 hours
Bake at 375 F for 40 minutes
Let it cool. Slice and serve with some fruit butter or jam. it yummy as is !

yummily sliced by DH :)

Serving suggestions: with pasta, salads or soup, great with mixed veg gravy sabzi


  • Bread flour is a mix of regular refined wheat flour (maida) and is enriched with bromine and  barley
  • I intend to make whole wheat bread with out the bread flour 
  • This experiment was to prove to dear hubby that the store bought 100%whole wheat is not entirely whole wheat but had only 1/3or a little more of whole grain flour and the rest is refined flour.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Vegan Avocado Chocolate and raisin cake

I took out the avocado to make some Guacamole for dinner and guess what it ended up as - An eggless, low fat and dairy free Dark chocolate Avocado and raisin cake. I was never able to click a pic of this cake earlier. This time around, I had to document it :). It is whole wheat as usual...So here we go!

You need: for a small loaf or a 1" high 8" round cake

  • Whole wheat flour - 1 1/2 cup
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder - 3 1/2 tbsps
  • Baking powder - 1 tsp
  • Baking soda - 1 tsp
  • Sugar (I used turbinado) - 1 cup or lesser
  • Oil (sunflower or olive) - 1/8 cup  or 2 1/2 tbsps
  • Avocado - 1 small or medium - mashed well
  • Water - 2 cups  (if you use all purpose flour - it may require 1- 1 1/2 cup)
  • Lemon or White Vinegar - 1 tsp
  • Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
  • Raisins - 1/4 cup
  1. Combine all the ingredients and fold in the mashed avocado to make a smooth batter. 
  2. You can use a loaf pan or a round tray for this.  Grease and sprinkle some flour and pour in the batter
  3. Bake in the middle rack at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes (Make sure to check after 20 minutes of baking)
  4. Do the fork/knife test and if it comes out are done!

I left the cake to form a neat could take it out when the top layer is still moist :)

Grab a slice with your cup of tea..have a lovely evening :)

PS: Still to get the whole wheat pastry flour..but managing with the whole wheat from kroger as of now
Whole wheat makes the cake a little denser than the all purpose (maida) version
You can reduce the amount of choclate in the recipe

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Beetroot leaves and Moong Dal ~ Cooked in spicy coconut puree / sauce

Up for some green! (reds to be precise :-). Beet leaves in various forms are a regular feature at home...yum! So here is another simple, low fat, and very nutritious recipe.

You need: serves 2
Beet Leaves - 1 bunch
Moong Dal - 3/4 to 1 cup
Salt to taste
Turmeric - two pinches
Hing / asafoetida - a pinch or a little more
Kuzhambu or rasam powder - 1 1/2 tsp (you could use less)

For the coconut puree
Coconut - 1/2 cup (shredded)
cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
green chillies - 2
curry leaves - 4
pepper corns- 4 or 5
water - just enough to grind

Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
Red chilli - 1
Curry leaves - 3 or 4
olive /coconut / sunflower oil - 1/2 tsp

Pre-soak moong dal atleast for 15 minutes
Drain the water out and keep the fluffed up dal aside
Wash beet leaves thoroughly and chop
Grind the puree ingredients together and keep aside
In a pan, start the tempering - add oil, mustard seeds, cumin, curry leaves, red chilli and asafoetida
When mustard crackles, add and lightly stir in moong dal (minus the water)
Cover and cook for a minute (medium flame)
Add the chopped leaves and stir well, cover and cook for a minute
Wait for the leaves to cook a little (they reduce in quantity)
add salt, turmeric powder and kuzhambu powder, saute well
add coconut puree and mix well...leave the pan covered until the leaves and the dal is well done :)
serve with rice or roti / bread


  1. Beet cultivation dates back to second millennium B.C. 
  2. Beet leaves and beet are a great cardiovascular food! - great for your heart and in treating anemia
  3. Beet leaves and the root are extensively used for treating fever, constipation and blood related issues
  4. The entire beet plant (stem, leaves and root) contain oxalic acid - making it a highly recommended oxlate food to treat kidney stones and other renal issues
  5. There is a lot dont discard those leaves - radish, turnip, carrots and every other root vegetable and their leaves are filled with nutrition :-) 

Two servings (two cups) of just this dish with a bowl of soup would make a great Brunch! Happy eating :)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Paarikkai / Pavvakka ulli theeyal ~ Tribute to my Palakkad roots

I generally dont click pics of regular/traditional dishes made at home. Wanted to change that this year and start documenting usual, day to day recipes as well (thanks to that special someone who pestered me to do so :)) Ulli (onion) and Parikkai (Bitter gourd) theeyal is a definite favourite of mine. (I am known for my love for bitter gourd :P). And as usual, this is a low fat recipe.

I decided to post this recipe to join a Kerala Kitchen event at Palakkad Chamayal :) This being my first such participation in the food blogging circle. I hope to have fun!!

Theeyal, a must have in most onam lunches (sadhya) literally means - burnt dish. This name is derived from the colour of the dish as we use well roasted coconut and tamarind.

This is exactly how its made in our kitchen.
You need: Serves 2-3
Water - 2 1/2 to 3 cups
Bitter gourd - 2-3 small /medium (de-seeded and diced)
Onion - 1 (diced)
coconut - shredded- 1/4 cup
curry leaves - 3 tsps (I use dried leaves)
Coconut (or til/ sunflower / olive) oil - 1 tsp

Flavoring / spices
Tamarind - two strips or a size of small lime / 3 tsps (if using paste)
Red chillies- 3
Turmeric powder - 2 pinches
Jeera / cumin- 1/2 tsp
Methi /fenugreek seeds - 1/2 or 1/4 tsp
pepper corns - 1/4 tsp
coriander seeds - 2 1/2 tbsp
Jaggery (optional) - 1 tsp

Use (Set aside) for Tempering
oil, mustard seeds (1/4tsp), a little cumin seeds, curry leaves, fenugreek seeds(optional), one red chilli

  • Soak Tamarind in a cup of water and microwave it for two minutes. 
  • Let it cool , add some water, mash the pulp to prepare two cups of tamarind water
  • Wash bitter gourd thoroughly and chop into small pieces; Soak them in salt water for ten minutes 
  • Chop onions and grate/shred coconut
  • In a pan, Dry roast coriander seeds, cumin, peppercorns, two red chillies, curry leaves, cumin seeds,  (with a little set aside for tempering) and coconut. you could add 1 tsp of onions (optional) 
  • Transfer well roasted ingredients onto a plate to cool
  • Grind the roasted ingredients into a smooth paste
  • In the same pan, pour a 1 tsp coconut or any oil of your choice
  • (you can avoid using oil because roasting of coconut leaves a thin film of oil in the pan)
  • Put in mustard seeds, cumin seeds, red chilli, curry leaves and saute for a minute
  • Add onions and saute for another minute before adding thoroughly washed bitter gourd 
  • Stir well and cover for a minute and pour in the tamarind water
  • Add salt, turmeric powder, and fine fine ground theeyal paste
  • cook until vegetables are all done and you get the yummy aroma of cooked theeyal

Serve with steamed rice, cracked wheat or roti/ bread of your choice

And off I go to join the fun at Palakkad Chamayal :)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Anniversary special ~ Vegan Lauki Chocolate Whole Wheat Quick Bread /cake

As mentioned in my earlier post about zucchini quick bread, I love veggies in cakes and breads. I use whole wheat King Arthur flour for my baking and love the wholesome and a slightly dense texture it lends to my cakes and loaves.
You need: for 1 small loaf
whole wheat flour - 1 cup
Bottle gourd - (grated) - 1 cup
Olive oil /sunflower oil - 1/3 cup
vanilla essence - 1/2 tsp ( upto 1 tsp is fine)
Cane Sugar - 1 cup (if using light brown sugar - 3/4 cup)
baking powder- 1/2 tsp
baking soda - 3/4 - 1 tsp
milk  or warm water - 3/4 cup
raisins - 1/4 cup (optional)
unsweetened chocolate powder - 3 tbsp

Mix in all the ingredients, grease a loaf pan
pour in the mixture and bake at 365 F for 35-40 minutes in the middle rack
Do the fork / tooth pick test and if it comes out clear take the pan out
cool for an hour before trying to take the loaf out of the pan
Serve with vanilla ice cream or as is!!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Heart(h) n Home : Kamini's Eclectic Kitchen

Kaminia well known name in the design and travel blogger circles, is a major source of inspiration for me. She is a wonderful artist, great DIYer, and a beautiful human being. :-). I spoke about her entryway on the Design Enthusiast and wanted to share a kitchen tour on the food blog :) (dint want my food blogging friends to miss out on a wonderful home tour ..:-)

Kamini was gracious to take us on over to K :)
I wanted the Kitchen to be modern in terms of conveniences, but traditional in the things I use. The flooring is simple ceramic tile.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Oven roasted Arbi / cheppankazhangu / Taro root / chama dhumpa

I never get to click pics of this dish. Reason being, my DH who cant resist eating them right out of the oven. Traditionally, taro root or colocasia fry is a popular dish in south indian cuisines. As much as I love it, i cant get myself to deep frying anything. So here is my equally yummy oven roasted version.

You need: Serves 3 or 4  (in our case- 2)
arbi/ Taro root - 12 small /medium (root chunks)
Water - just enough to pressure cook them
salt - to taste
turmeric powder - 2-3 pinches
hing /asafoetida - 2 pinches
curry leaves - a string (5-6)
lemon rind or tamarind - 1 small strip (for use while pressure cooking the root)
Kuzhambu powder - 3 tsps or less
oil (olive or sunflower) - 2 - 3 tsps
water - 1 tbsp to sprinkle

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Guest Post ~ Saravana's wood apple chutney

My Soul bro is back :). I had featured Saravana's Arati poovu fry / vepudu earlier. And now he is back with a yummy chutney. I have fond memories associated with this chutney ..Amma made them when these fruits were in season...i also love the juice she made...all organic and naturally sweet!!!!:). 

Over to Saravana
Wood Apple, also called as Velaga Pandu (వెలగ పండు) in Telugu and Vilam Palam (விளாம் பழம்) in Tamil.   We know this fruit as it forms a part of ornamentation in vinayaka chavithi, to tie fruits for palavelli.
Both ripened and unripe wood apple is used in savories. For the current purpose, we use a ripened wood apple. Wood apple has a thick shell and has to be broken. A ripened wood apple can be spotted from long from its ripe, sweet and a woody smell.  Take a wood apple (200 gm), break it and scoop the inside paste from it.  Add 3 green chilies, sufficient salt and tamarind and blend the paste so that the ingredients mix well.
Place a pan on the stove and add 1 tsp of oil / ghee.  Add the wood apple paste in it and fry it with a lid covered for 5 min on a low flame.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Happy Pongal :)

Happy pongal and thank you to all who shower their love through their visits and comments :)...wishing everyone a great 2012

shared beautiful muggus/kolams from our neighbourhood in hyderabad

creativity: neighbours
pictures: Mother in law :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Brinjal and potato podi poriyal

This is a very common and traditional brinjal dish. My DH likes this brinjal dish a lot among other variations. We can make this dish without the potato as well. I clicked pics of this dish so sharing it :)

You need: serves two
Brinjal -  1 large / 8 small - (Chopped 2 cups)
potato - optional - 1 large - (chopped 1 cup)
curry leaves - 4-5
cilantro / coriander leaves - for garnish

for the masala /podi
coriander leaves - 1 1/2 tbsp
peanuts- 1 tbsp
cumin/jeera - 1/2 tsp
garlic- 2 cloves (optional)
red chillies - 3
chana dal- 1 tsp
urad dal - 1 tsp
dry coconut /copra - 3 tsps
clove - 2 (optional)
elaichi / cardamom- 1 (optional)
dalchini / cinnamon - 1/2 " strip (optional)

mustard - 1/4 tsp
jeera - 1/4 tsp
red chilli - 1
hing - a pinch
salt - to taste
cooking oil (sun flower / olive)- 1 tsp

Masala / podi
Dry roast all the ingredients in a kadai / pan
let them cool and grind them into a coarse powder...keep aside
wash and chop the veggies into 1" cubes or long 1/2" slits (the veggies need to hold up to being cooked and then being sauted with the podi)
microwave or steam the veggies separately until they are half done

The dish

  1. Pour oil into the kadai and add tempering ingredients - mustard (let them crackle) and then add dals cumin red chillies, curry leaves in that order and saute
  2. add the steamed potato cubes and saute for a minute, and then add bringjal 
  3. Add salt, turmeric powder, hing/asafoetida and stir lightly
  4. Sprinkle water (1 tbsp or so) and cover the kadai for a 2 minutes 
  5. when the veggies look almost done, add the podi ( 1 spoon at a time) and keep stirring lightly
  6. Once all the masala/ podi is mixed with the temered veggies, turn down the flame and simmer for a minute or so
  7. If you like the poriyal well done and crispy, transfer it to a baking tray and put it in the oven for 8-10 minutes at 350 on the top rack (include the preheat time as well)
  8. garnish with cilantro/coriander leaves and serve with roti varieties or rice and accompanied with khadi/moru kuzhambu, rasam and dal...yum!!!!

Jeera rice and methi dal go very well on the menu with this dish :)..try and enjoy

This podi poriyal is very similar to vangi bath masala


Related Posts with Thumbnails