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Spiced Pineapple Carrot cake ~ Not your usual “upside down” fare

The makings of this spiced cake took root, when this utterly sweet-smelling golden pineapple sitting on our kitchen counter, literally piqued my imagination wild. Whoever has gotten a whiff of a ripe pineapple knows for sure the compelling aroma of the prickly fruit! To be more articulate - the inte

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Schezwan Chicken Frankie – A treat for spicy, street food lovers

We were in a “Thursday evening limbo” - referring to the liberating “Friday feel” but not without the pressure of having to endure yet another long working day. On many such evenings, I face the dilemma of meals to prepare so as to suit our mood - something exciting yet not extremely adventurous; pe

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Mitha Gaja / Shankarpale ~ The Diwali faraal making escapade-Part I ~

The glittering diyas, the bright, vivid hues of a meticulously rendered rangoli and the warm appetizing aroma of fried snacks hanging buoyantly in the air while my spirited family and friends gather around the porch to light up firecrackers– this is all that Diwali means to me. The celebration of virtue and compassion with an inanely fair amount of lip-smackingly delicious snacks – that’s surely something everyone wants to come together for. So to commemorate everything that makes Diwali remarkable, I had resolved that no matter how difficult it might seem to fit anything at all into my schedule right now, I am going to try and make as many snacks as I can and replicate “our gharwali” Diwali and this being our very first one after the wedding made it extra worth the effort. So homemade snacks, decorating up our home with lots of diyas, rangoli and lights, a celebration with friends and lots of food to share for our potluck – that became the highlight for our Diwali festivities this yea

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Who doesn’t love a twist & that too a Sriracha one? ~ Garlic & red chilli Vegetable Manchurian (dry) ~

In one of our numerous chat sessions, as my conversation with my Chinese friend/colleague veered towards Sino-Indian relationship, the cultural differences and similarities, we couldn't help but contemplate on the amalgamation of Indian intricacies into Chinese cooking. It veered towards a very interesting conversation about cooking styles, spices used, favorite dishes etc. etc. and she was extremely amused to know that there prevailed a very popular fusion cuisine known as "Indo-Chinese". She had never heard of it (of course..who has unless they are from India?), and seemed intrigued by the names of dishes I was hurling at her. Manchurian, Mixed chowmein...wait what? Manchurian...what's that? As I pondered on it a bit more, I assumed that although it's never really surprising to find tastes transcending national/international boundaries to give rise to a melange of flavors, the popularity of Indo-Chinese cuisine in India is something you have to see, to believe. This cuisine which sta

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“Outrageous”-ly decadent – Chocolate & walnut brownies

Quite often said and blindly followed (by yours truly i.e.) is the crude saying - "Whatever you do on the first day of a year..most likely you would be doing it for the rest of it ". Sounds chancy ehh? Yeah most likely it doesn’t have any ground in reality..but well when things are in your control there’s hardly any harm in trying to set the right tone to begin a brand new year. So writing this post in this “new” part of the year, assures me that this is going to be an auspicious hint that I will continue to write my posts even though I foresee a very busy future..Amen!! So my first post of 2013 is dedicated to this 2 x 2 chocolate-y square filled with nuts and yes, of course some more chocolate. It’s rich, decadent and mind my words- absolutely irresistible! And with the amounts I have eaten it seems I might have to do some serious damage control (read: some real exercise). Although it might already be implied by my numerous posts, this recipe further confirms the fact that yes I love

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The nutty-chocolaty high ~ Chocolate hazelnut & almond cookies

Those of you, who have ever tried Nutella even once (although I am quite sure there would hardly be anyone who hasn't gone for the second try!!), would wholly back me up in my affection towards the same. For the uninitiated, Nutella is the brand name for a chocolate hazelnut spread found in almost all grocery stores now and trust me - its divine. My very dramatic introduction to this chocolate spread was during my first few days here in the US, grocery shopping with my German friend. While strolling along the aisles, I was startled with a shriek from an adjoining aisle and I rushed back to find her squeaking with happiness holding on tightly to a small chocolate container. She was literally jumping with joy all the while exclaiming "They have it HERE!!"... While I certainly won't deny finding her reaction a bit over the top, yet just out of respect for her intense adoration, I bought a jar for myself. Though quite reluctantly, soon I too became a fan of this "heavenly"-chocolaty-nutty

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Of autumn warmth and Nan-Khatai

Long before terms like shortbread and cookie were introduced into my jargon, nan khatai ruled a special corner in my heart exclusively reserved for warm and gratifying baked goods. My first introduction to this nutty shortbread dates back to days when the only way my Ma would agree to serve us tea (the milky version that too!) was if it was with nan khatai. Haven’t tried dunking nan khatai in tea yet? Hmm….you might definitely want to 🙂 Sweet or salty, soft and powdery or crunchy and crumbly – this simple, few ingredient cookie has been an all-time favorite ever since. The basic recipe from my Ma had been tucked away neatly in one of my folders until that trip to the bakery last week. I tasted something so similar to nan khatai that it rejuvenated me with renewed energy to try it out. With the beginning of Fall, baking seems the best way to warm up the kitchen as well as memories with age old recipes. So, this is my first real baking venture of fall this year and what better way to st