Friday, December 11, 2020

Igloo cake - Winter wonderland

Celebrating this Christmas season with this Igloo cake and cute fondant animals.  This cake is extra special because my 10 years old daughter Rithika made all the fondant characters. I'm not going to change my fondant artist from now on. 

I baked three 6" chocolate cakes, soaked each layers with homemade orange syrup and filled it with chocolate sour cream frosting. After the crumb coat, I covered it with fondant and created the igloo design with a fondant roller. Rithika created the characters with the remaining fondant and thats it. We finished the whole cake from baking to decorating, under 3 hours :)

I used ,

  • three 6inch cake pan
  • Chocolate sour cream frosting 
  • Orange syrup to soak the layers
  • 24oz package fondant 
  • wilton color mist shimmering food color spray- Silver 
Chocolate cake 

I used one pan chocolate cake recipe from All recipes. The cake was extremely moist and had a very rich flavor.

Orange syrup

Heat 1 cup orange juice and 1 cup sugar in a sauce pan. Allow to cool.

Chocolate sour cream frosting

3/4 cup softened salted butter
1/2 cup Hershey's unsweetened cocoa powder + 1 tablespoon, sifted well
2tbsp strong coffee, at room temperature
3 3/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted 
3/4 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Place all ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir on low to combine. Scrape sides and mix again. Then whip on high for 30 seconds to 1 minute to get a completely smooth and creamy frosting. 


Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Lebanese Rice

Lebanese rice is basically a rice pilaf that's made up of three ingredients: long grain white rice, vermicelli noodles and butter or olive oil (or a combination of both).  The only seasoning in this dish is salt. I had this dish from a Mediterranean restaurant 7 years ago. It was topped with roasted pine nuts and they served it with garlic-Lemon Chicken. I loved the simplicity of this dish and started making it regularly.  And to jazz things up, I like topping the rice with toasted dry fruits.

How to make Basic Lebanese rice?
Serves : 4, cooking time : 20minutes


1 1/2 cups long grain or medium grain rice
1 cup broken Vermicelli / Semiya
4 cups boiling Water
3  tbsp olive oil
1 cup Dry fruits - almonds, cashews, pistachios, raisins 


1. Wash the rice and soak for 20 minutes. Drain well and keep aside.

2. Heat olive oil in a dutch oven / heavy bottom vessel on medium flame. Add the vermicelli and toast till it's  a nice golden brown. 

3. Add the rice and continue to stir so that the rice will be well-coated with the olive oil. Season with salt.

4. Now add 4 cups of boiling water and combine well. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes on low. Once fully cooked, turn the heat off and leave the rice undisturbed in it's cooking pot for 10-15 minutes. 

5.  Add the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil to a skillet and roast the dry fruits. now add it to the cooked rice  and fluff with a fork.


Sunday, November 29, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone

 Let our lives be full of thanks and giving 

Our thanksgiving spread
🍁Grilled whole Tandoori chicken
🍁 Paneer Tikka
🍁 Malai Mushroom Kebab
🍁 Grilled corn
🍁 Mango and chickpeas salad
🍁 Kesar Kulfi

From my friend and neighbor @saranyalv

🍁 Naan
🍁 Kheema
🍁 Sweet potato casserole
🍁 Rasmalai

Happy thanksgiving from our family to yours 🍁🦃🙏

Thank you,

Monday, November 2, 2020

Halloween 2020 with Kamado Joe Classic

Halloween 2020 will be one to remember. Much has changed, but our love for Halloween is as strong as ever. We decided to keep it safe without ruining our Halloween traditions. So Trick or treat was only at our close friend's place.

 I fell in love with Kamado-style cooking after we purchased this Kamado Joe classic and smoked the first Rib eye steak and whole chicken for our Halloween party . The ease of temperature control, the longevity of the lump, and the feeling that I just cooked something delicious makes me happier after months and months of search for the perfect grill. My first choice was Weber Genesis II -315, but the reviews about uneven cooking made us think about gas grills. Rashmin found Kamado cooking videos and he loved the concept..

We slow cooked a whole chicken first. Cooking time was 1hr 15 minutes in 450F () internal temperature 165) and then we covered and rested the chicken for another 20minutes. After removing chicken from the grill we grilled the Rib eye steak on direct grill. Changing the setting was not difficult at all. Steak took 90 seconds on one side then changed the position by moving it to the slide slightly to get beautiful grill mark. Cooked for another 90 seconds and flipped the meat and repeat the same 90sec+90sec to get a medium rare steak. Then we transferred it to the indirect cooking zone tillI got internal temperature of 140F. After that loosely covered the meat and allowed to rest for 7minutes. Oh boy!! it was cooked to the perfection!!!

Cooking time of Rib Eye Steak
  • 3 minutes each side for medium rare and internal temperature 120F
  • 4 minutes each side for well done and internal temperature of 145F

DIY Pizza costume 

materials : Cardboard cut into wedge, yellow paint, felt paper Red, white and green for the toppings of pizza 


Friday, August 14, 2020

Spinach and sweet Corn Rice / Instant pot Paalak Rice / Spinach rice - Instant pot recipes

A simple and healthy Instant pot recipe under 15 minutes.

Ingredients :

3/4 cup Basmati Rice, washed and drained
1 1/2 Cup Boiling water
1/2 cup Sweet corn, Fresh / Canned / Frozen
1 Cup chopped Spinach
2 Green chilies, chopped
1/2 tsp ginger, chopped
1/2 tsp Garlic, chopped
1/2 Cup, onion chopped, (half of a medium onion)
2 spring Coriander leaves, chopped
1 inch Cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
3 cloves
3 cardamom
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1tbsp Ghee
1tsp coconut oil
Cashews and Raisins 

How to make Instant pot Spinach sweet corn rice ?

1. Rinse the rice and soak for 20 minutes. Drain and keep aside.

2. Turn the instant pot settings into 'Saute' mode. Heat ghee and add cashews and raisins. Roast them till the raisins are golden and fluffy. transfer them into a bowl.

2. Add the coconut oil into the pan and add the whole spices - bayleaf, cumin, cloves, cinnamon and cardamom. Now add the chopped onion, ginger, garlic and green chilies. When the onion turns to translucent, add the rice and stir fry for 2-3 minutes.

3. Now add the chopped spinach and stir fry for a minute. (If you are adding more than 1 cup spinach, water content will be more in the pan and rice will be mushy.)

4. Add the sweet corns, salt, coriander leaves and combine well.

5. Add 1 1/2 Cups boiling water and combine well.  Press on 'Cancel' button to stop Saute mode.  Seal the instant pot by closing the lid with vent in sealing position. Now turn the 'Pressure cook' mode on into high and set for '7minutes'. When the Instant pot beeps after 7 minutes allow it to naturally release pressure by keeping for another 10minutes. Now carefully release the pressure manually by turning into venting position. 

6. Add the ghee roasted cashews and raisins and mix with the rice. 

7. Serve hot with  Raita, Pickle and papad.


Thenga cherthu othukkiya Meen varuthathu / Fish coconut Fry



1 Fillet  Salmon
1/2 tsp Chili Powder
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Vinegar / Lemon juice
1tbsp Coconut oil

Coconut Masala

1/4 Cup Shredded coconut
1/2 tsp Fennel seeds
1 spring curry leaves
2 green Chilies, chopped
1/2 tsp ginger, chopped
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
1 slice Purple onion, chopped

Directions / Coconut Fish fry

1. Add chili powder, turmeric powder, salt and vinegar to a bowl and make a thick paste. Clean the fish and add to this masala.

2. Combine all ingredients listed under " Coconut masala", and keep aside.

3. Heat coconut oil in a skillet and add the dish pieces. Shallow fry both sides.

4. Add the coconut masala to the fried fish pieces and combine well.

5. Stir fry for 3-4 minutes or till the fish pieces are covered in  coconut masala.

6. Serve hot with  Kerala Matta rice.


Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Naadan Chicken Roast / Kerala style Chicken Dry Roast
naadan chicken dry roastum, Neichorum

How to make Kerala Chicken Dry Roast / Naadan Chicken roast
Preparation time : 15 minutes, Cooking time : 40minutes, Serves


1/2  Kg / 500 lbs  Chicken, cleaned and cut into pieces 


3 Tbsp Thick yogurt
1 Tsp Salt
1/4 Tsp Turmeric Powder
1/2 Tsp Chili Powder
1Tsp Coriander Powder
1/2 Tsp Garam Masala
1/2 Tsp Ginger Garlic Paste

For the Dry  masala

2 Bay leaves / Vazhanayila
2  medium sized Onion, Thinly sliced
2 medium sized Tomatoes, chopped
2 Green Chilli, Slit lengthwise
1 Tsp Ginger / 1/2 inch , freshly chopped
1tsp Garlic / 4 cloves, freshly chopped
2 Bay leaves 
1 Spring Curry leaves
1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
1/2 tsp Chilli Powder 
1 Tsp Coriander Powder
1tsp Garam Masala 
3 Tbsp Coconut Oil
Naadan chicken dry roastum Neichorum

Directions for Kerala Chicken Dry Roast 

1. In a large bowl combine everything written under "For The Marination". Add chicken pieces and  marinate overnight in the refrigerator.

2. Heat Coconut oil in a heavy bottom vessel / kadai and add bay leaves and sliced onion. Saute till the onion is slightly golden brown. Add ginger, garlic, green chilies and saute for 30 seconds.  Now add the chopped tomatoes and combine well.

3. Next, add  all masala powders under " for the dry Masala"  - chili powder, coriander powder,  turmeric powder and garam masala and roast till you get a dark thick masala. Oil should be separating from masala at this stage. 

4. Now add the chicken pieces, salt, curry leaves  and combine well.  Turn into low- medium  flame and cook covered for 30 - 40 minutes.  Stir occasionally to make sure the chicken pieces are covered in masala and allow it to cook till chicken is done and the masala  is coated on every chicken pieces. This step is the most important in this dish. Dry fry for another 5 minutes till oil separates from the chicken masala and it is roasted beautifully. 

5. Adjust the salt and turn off the flame. Serve hot with Kerala Ghee rice / Pathiri / Puttu / Noolappam. 

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Friday, April 24, 2020

Cheera Parippu Thoran / Spinach Lentil stir fry Step by Step
Cheera parippu thoran

How to make Kerala Parippu cheera thoran? 
Preparation time 10 minutes, cook time 10 minutes, serves 5

1/2 box / 4 cups spinach, chopped
1/2 cup Channa daal / Toor Daal
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
2 cloves Garlic, chopped
1/2 of medium sized purple onion, chopped
1 tsp Crushed red chili flakes (tharimulaku) / 2 green chilies, chopped
1/2 Cup coconut, grated
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1/2 tbsp Coconut oil
1 Spring Curry leaves


1. Pressure cook the daal with turmeric powder, salt and just enough water to cover the daal. Wash and drain spinach. I usually wash and drain them by putting it in a salad spinner to remove the maximum water from spinach.
2. Heat coconut oil in a skillet and add mustard seeds. When it splutters, add chopped onion, curry leaves and garlic. Saute till onion is translucent. Now add the crushed red chili flakes and give it a quick stir fry. Add grated coconut and combine well. 
3. Add spinach and stir fry for 3-5 minutes in medium - high flame. Do not cover with a lid. 
4. Mix the cooked chana daal with and combine well. Adjust the salt

Baby spinach from costco. 

Cheera Parippu Toran from Lemon n spice

Pressure cook the Channa daal with turmeric powder and salt

Cheera Parippu Toran from Lemon n spice

Chop the spinach, onion and garlic

Cheera Parippu thoran from Lemon n spice

Add coconut oil and add mustard seeds. Now add onion, garlic and curry leaves. Add dried red chili flakes.

Cheera Parippu Toran from Lemon n spice
Add grated coconut and stir fry.

Cheera Parippu Toran from Lemon n spice
Add chopped spinach and combine well.

Cheera Parippu Toran from Lemon n spice
Add the pressure cooked Channa daal.

Cheera Parippu Toran from Lemon n spice

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