Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Jewelled Rangoli and a Happy Diwali

Happy Diwali

Diwali is one of my favorite festivals.I love to dress up my house .Normally I start preparing and collecting things much before the festival.This year we shall be celebrating Diwali in New York with some cousins. But what happens to my rangoli? I decided to do a rangoli which  can be prefabricated . I have packed this rangoli and shall use it there.

This Rangoli has been made on a MDF. MDF is medium density board which is easily available in the market.I roughly decided on a design and got my pieces cut.I choose to make a center piece, some small circles , some big circles , paisleys and some leaves.I got these cut on a lazer machine to get neat cuts.I used white acrylic paint for the first coat .The second coat was with pearl white acyrilic color.This gave it a sheen.

Once these pieces dried I used pearls, blings and sparkle to decorate these pieces.I used fabric glue to stick these.

I just did a some quick set ups with the same pieces.One can do so much more with them.Once the festival is over, just pack and reuse them as and when required.

I have made floating rangolis too on the same pattern.For these I have used an OHP sheet.This is easily available at any stationery shop.The procedure to make these floating rangolis is here.

To know more about these rangolis check ….

while working on these pieces

The pieces being cut on the lazer machine

circle , leaf pattern

paisley with gold beads

paisley with white blings

with square format center..rest of the pieces are same

Floating Rangoli pattern

These just need to be placed in a wide pot full of water.You could add some floating candles to enliven it.

Once again wishing all my friends a very Happy Diwali !!

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Butter Cake with Blue berries for Eggless Baker's Group

As soon as Gayathri announced the Butter Cake for the Eggless Bakers Group, I wanted to try it right away.I was not happy with my last challenge which I had postponed till the last day. Anyway this butter cake sounded very interesting, different from what we normally bake.

I  made some changes to the given recipe, I replaced 1/2 cup of flour with custard pwd and used dried blue berries instead of raisins.
I used flax seed pwd to replace eggs.

2/3 cups ....sugar
1/2cup....... sugar
1cup.......... Apf
2/3 cup...... custard pwd
2tsp............ baking pwd
1/2cup........ blue berries
3tbsp.......... flax seed pwd
6tbsp.......... water
1/2 cup....... milk (the original recipe called for 1tbsp)
2tbsp.......... butter
1/8 cup....... butter

Use a 7" spring form tin or a loose bottom tin.
Preheat oven to 170 C.
In a bowl beat butter and sugar till creamy.
Add flax seed mix gradually.
Beat until combined.
Fold flour into buttered mix.
Add milk and mix well.
Stir in the berries.
Pour batter into the prepared greased and lined cake tin.
Bake until golden.
Mix 1/2 cup butter and brown sugar .
Remove cake from oven and spread the butter mix immediately.
Let it soak for a few minutes.
Remove it from the tin and serve warm.

The cake turned out absolutely wonderful and everyone in the family enjoyed it.I carried half of this to a work shop I was attending and everyone went crazy.

I must tell you that while making the batter , after mixing my flour, the batter was very dry, I had added the 1tbsp of milk which was required in the original recipe, but since I had added custard pwd, may be it absorbed all moisture  and made the batter dry, I had to add more milk to get the right consistency of the batter.

After removing the cake I observed too many cracks and was disheartened, but went ahead and spread butter mix, I did not have brown sugar so I used Demerara sugar.After a while when I removed the cake from the tin I was absolutely delighted to see that it had risen very well and of course the taste was too good.I used salted butter, which gave a mild salty flavor , but very very pleasing, in fact my son gave me 5 stars for it.

linking it to Bake Fest an event by Vardhini.

Blog Event

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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Magic Mingle # 10 Round Up

Hello Friends!!
Here is a round up for MM # 10,  with magic ingredients being Coconut and Fenugreek seeds.
Thank you friends for the wonderful, interesting recipes .
Thank you Kalyani for letting me host it.

Priya's Versatile Recipes

The Pumpkin Farm

Basic Puli Kuzampu

Ribbon's to Pasta's

The Mad Scientist's Kitchen

Gayathri's Cook spot

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Monday, October 15, 2012

Varo - Sindhi Sweet for Indian Cooking Challenge

Every month Valli announces a traditional Indian dish for the Indian Cooking Challenge.Sometimes these dishes are unheard, sometimes challenging, and at times simple yet pleasing  but traditional. I hate to miss this monthly event, as I feel I get to learn about various cultures too.For this month Valli made it very easy ..she let us choose the recipe from the Challenge page.For me there were a number of dishes, but I choose Varo.

This is a sweet which is made in Sindhi homes. There are two main occasions when it is a made..Diwali and second when the girls get married.It is customary to make Ladoos, Majoon and Vara’s.These are given to the girls along with other sweets and  dryfruits .Varo is something that I have never made.It's always my M.I L or S.I L. who make these things.When I told my S.I.L that  I wanted to make she said, it’s okay you relax ..and yet again I did not make, though I was standing next to her.

Varo can be made in two different ways.First one is the pouring one ,and the other one is where we add extra dry fruit and roll it like a chikki.You can refer to the pics of rolling style here.

The ingredients of Varo vary from family to family and personal taste.Coconut and walnuts are used, but they leave a unwanted flavor if stored for a little longer.Dry dates are crushed and added, but personally I don’t use as it makes it more sweet.

Coming to the recipe…..
1cup.......... sugar
1cup.......... mixed dry fruit (almond, cashew and pistachios)
2tbsp......... poppy seeds
1tsp........... cardamom pwd
1tsp........... ghee
Lemon juice
Before you start preparing grease a thali with ghee and sprinkle some poppy seeds on it.
Coarsely grind the nuts.
Put a tsp of ghee in a pan.
Add sugar and let the sugar melt on full flame.
Stir constantly.
Sometimes the sugar starts crystallizing, if so add a few drops of lemon juice.
As soon as the sugar melts add the nuts and cardamom pwd.
Switch off the gas and mix well. Pour into the prepared greased thali.
Garnish with chopped pistachios and poppy seeds.
Let set and cool.

Normally the Vara's are made in big thali's and after de moulding, just break these with hands, but I made mini ones.
These go to Srivalli's potluck party and Preeti's Let's Party


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