Ria's Collection

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


Fail - Proof Homemade Yogurt
Eevery single time I've shared my yogurt photos and videos on my Instagram account,my inbox would get jammed with recipe requests. As much as I would love to send each one of you my method for it, it's literally not possible to reply to individual recipe queries these days. Only after reading all of those messages did I realize that a lot us have struggled or have been struggling with making such a healthy,easy and favourite recipe of ours at home.

This method is super simple and it has give me consistent results every single time. I also use another method to make it but that's for another post,maybe. Currently, this method is the one I am totally obsessed with! It gives you that picture perfect, upside down-able yogurt!

Fail - Proof Homemade Yogurt
The only point where you could go wrong is with the milk temperature before adding the in the starter. The milk should be just barely warm,like a baby's bath water. You might think it's too cool for the starter to work but it will. It should be that temperature where you would like to soak your feet in after a long day at work,warm but barely so. If you have a thermometer, it should be between 40-50F. Stay on the higher end because when you add the starter,it will bring the temperature down.
Fail - Proof Homemade Yogurt
Talking about starters. If you are like me, just buy a tub of yogurt which has 'Active Live Cultures' written on it.Just use that. But if you are like those lucky ones who can get hold of some homemade yogurt,use that. Both works... the same way! Thanks Biana for sharing your method with the rest of us!

Fail - Proof Homemade Yogurt Makes 4 cups

1 litre whole milk
50 grams yogurt

Method: You can watch the video to see the process I have explained in detail. Preheat the oven to 100 F and turn it off. Place the wrapped yogurt container in it and let it set. It can take anywhere between 6-8 hours. If you do not have an oven, you can leave it outside the oven in a warm spot.
Ian and Zara love yogurt! It's one of their snack. Ian gets super excited every time I tell him I made some at home. This is a very easy way to make extremely creamy and thick yogurt at home. I hope you give it a try and if you do, don't forget to report back! :-)

Wednesday, November 8, 2017


Malaysian curry puffs
Did you know that I have a Malaysian connection? Appa and his siblings grew up in Malaysia till he was about 8 years old. My Grandfather was working there before they moved and settled in Kannur. Mamma,my paternal Grandmother who was an awesome cook learnt a lot of dishes from her cook there and Mamma would cook those dishes for us every now and then. Nasi Lemak was a staple in our home. She would try out so many Asian recipes from her cookbook and would call us over for dinner. I fondly remember how Mamma would make ' Vella chorum Kozhiyum' / Steamed Rice & Chicken for us (which everybody adored!) and I would refuse to eat it because there would a lot of vegetables in the chicken dish. I was never up for eating vegetables as a child.

I would then go and lay down on her bed,with the bedroom door wide open and look at everyone sitting by that big 12 seater dining table enjoy the meal Mamma lovingly made for us. I must mention that I was laying down on her bed and sulking! I can still picturize that dining room and those dim lantern lights hanging low over the table giving it such a cozy feel serving the food I never enjoyed and couldn't ever enjoy as a child.

Malaysian curry puffs
Things have changed so much! I wholeheartedly enjoy vegetables now and that 'Vella Chorum Kozhiyum' is one of my most favourite things to eat!

Whenever we bought puffs from a bakery, Appan would mention about a 'Curry Puffs' that they relished in Malaysia. I remember Mamma calling the usual bakery puffs as Curry Puffs,maybe with her fond memories from her past. I also remember Appan telling me that it looked different and was flaky with a delicious filling inside. Those were the days when there was no internet. But that name stuck with me for all these years.

Malaysian curry puffs
One day, I just decided to do a quick search online and came across so many beautiful photograhs of it! They were so easy to make but looked intricate. I used this recipe for the shell and came up with a filling on my own. I decided to give the puffs a try and there was no looking back. They are phenomenal! It is honestly one of the best things I've made in the recent times and something that I don't mind making over and over again!

Malaysian curry puffsMALAYSIAN CURRY PUFFS
Makes 18-20 pieces

Pastry shell
Oil dough
300 grams flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon oil
3/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon warm water

Butter dough
150 grams flour
70 grams butter,room temperature

2 cups potatoes,diced (I used 2 large potatoes)
1/2 cup onions,diced
3 cloves garlic,grated
1 1/2 tablespoons Curry Powder ( You can use any storebought chicken/meat masala)
2 tablespoons Oyster sauce,optional ( I use Pantai brand)
3 tablespoons oil
Salt as needed

Please refer the video for the pastry shell directions. Once the dough is made,cover and let it rest for 30 mins. This helps in relaxing the gluten in the flour .While rolling out, don't roll them too thin,the layers will become one and you will not get the flakiness.

Filling: Heat oil in a saute pan on medium-high heat and saute onions until translucent,about 2 minutes.Add the grated garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Reduce the heat and add the curry powder. The mix might look dry,it's okay. Add the potatoes and toss well to coat with the spices. Add about a cup of water and cook it covered until the potatoes are soft. Add more water if needed. Once it's cooked, add the oyster sauce and cook for another minute. Mash it gently while it's cooking. Check for salt. Some brands of sauces are very salty, so don't add too much salt in the beginning. Wait for the filling to cool completely before you fill the shells.

When I shared it on Instagram, Appan commented saying they looked much better than the ones he remember from Malaysia. Jobin LOVES it and so does the kids! Ian eats 4 at a time and Zara almost 2. I am not even going to tell you how many I ate! :-) They are wonderful and I hope you give them a try.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017


The Best Chocolate Mug Cake
Thank you all so much for the encouragement and support with regards to my YouTube Channel that we started a week ago. Like I said, we both are learning on how to do this whole thing! It might seem easy to some of you but trust me, it isn't. Especially when you have small kids who have no idea what it is to keep quiet for more than one second! :-) The Lazy Daisy Cake video was shot around 11 pm after the kids were put to bed and after the house was set back to normal. I even managed to sneak in a nap before that because we knew the shoot could go long if it got interrupted. Nevermind. It was worth the trouble in the end! :-)
The Best Chocolate Mug Cake
I have lost count of the number of times I've made this cake for us in the last couple of months. We enjoy it the same way we did,the very first time I made it. There's a WOW factor attached to it because 1) It gets done in 90 seconds 2) It's perfect as a single serving 3)You can never predict when that 'I need a chocolate cake right now' feeling kicks in 4) It is absolutely tasty!
The Best Chocolate Mug Cake
Jobin was seriously in awe when I asked him if he wanted some chocolate cake and gave him a warm cup filled with deliciousness like in no time at all! I mean, 90 seconds literally is no time! I get frequent requests for it now that baking a real deal chocolate cake has kind of taken a back seat. Mug cakes were a rage a few years ago and when I tried out a recipe back then, I was utterly disappointed. I promised to myself that I will never ever make another one because I was literally disgusted by how dry it was.
The Best Chocolate Mug Cake
Everything changed when I saw Ree's recipe for it. I love all the recipes that I've tried so far from her blog and this one is no different. So don't wait a minute longer, go and make it! I am sure you will enjoy this perfectly moist,tender chocolate cake!

The Best Chocolate Mug Cake Makes 1 mug (12 oz) cake

3 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional but I highly recommend it!)
Splash of vanilla

Method: In a 12 oz mug,add the dry ingredients and mix well with fork. Add in the wet ingredients and chocolate chips and mix well to combine.Cook it in a microwave oven for 90 seconds and enjoy!
It will be extremely hot inside the cake as soon as you take it out,so just be careful about that.
If you happen to try this cake at home, don't forget to tell me about it! I want to know if you enjoyed it as much we did. When I made it for my cousins in Boston,they went ga-ga over it! It is really good!
I hope you all had a fun Halloween. We sure did. Ian was a Pirate and Zara was a Bumble Bee!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017


Lazy Daisy Cake
Yes, people! I have finally decided to start my own Youtube Channel! Today is a BIG day for me as I am stepping forward to explore a world unknown. And guess what? I will need your support just like the way you have supported this blog of mine for the past 9 years. Jobin helped me shoot and edit the video and we both are just beginning to figure out how this whole thing works! So please bear with me.
Lazy Daisy Cake
This cake is OMG good! It is one of the best cakes that I've baked and it's literally to die for in taste and texture. That coconut topping will leave you wanting for more! This recipe is from KAF. So please do me a favour...watch the video, grab the recipe and bake that cake! Don't forget to share it with your loves ones...the cake and my channel! If you like what you see,don't forget to hit the subscribe button! There's plenty more to come!

Makes one 8 inch square cake

2 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup all purpose flour /maida
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 tablespoon butter

1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 cup sweetened coconut (watch the video for substitutions )

Method: Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. Line an 8" square or 9"round tin.

Cake: In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs until frothy,the add the sugar,beating at high speed until the mixture is thick and lemon coloured. Stir in flour,baking powder and salt.
In a saucepan,heat the milk and butter together to boiling. Add to the ingredients in bowl and beat to combine. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 25- 30 mins or until the top is springy to touch.Let it cool on a rack for 5-10 mins.

Turn on the broiler in the oven.

Topping: Mix all the ingredients together in saucepan and cook on medium-high heat till the butter melts. Spread it over the cake and broil for 2-3 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and bubbling.

You will love this cake! This one barely lasts for 5 hours in our house. It's super addictive! Don't forget to watch the video to grab some tips for substitutions! This cake lasts really well and stays very moist and tender at room temperature for a good 4-5 days.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017


Ian's 5th birthday
Zara 24
So here I am,almost 2.5 months after my last post. Where did I go? I was right here,still cooking and taking photos and literally living every minute on my Instagram account. So all of you who miss reading the updates/ recipes here,head on over to Instagram and click 'follow'! It's been really really busy all these weeks with the house shifting, house parties and travel. I could really squeeze in time to come and post recipes here but I chose not to. To keep my sanity in check. This week,there's nothing much going on for me, so that's how I finally reached here!

Ian's 5th birthday
Zara 98
This is going to be a short post and I am going to share a few pictures from Ian's 5th birthday (July 22) & Zara's 1st birthday (September 16). They both were 100% homemade parties. Ian's party was barely a week before we moved and Zara's was about a month and a half after we moved. Her party was our deadline to set up our new home. Since we moved in from a single bedroom condominium to a 5 bedroom house, we had TONS to do. We are still shopping for stuff and I have no idea when this will end :) Anyway, I hope you enjoy their party photos!
Ian's 5th birthday
Zara 119
Also in the meantime,this blog baby of mine turned 9 years old on October 8th. To be honest, that totally skipped my mind since I was busy with other things.But. There's something new brewing up and I will be making an announcement here this week! If you scroll through my Instagram profile, you can find that out! :-)
Zara 28
Zara 35

Ian's 5th Birthday Party Menu

Paw Patrol themed Chocolate Layer Cake
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream

Greek Chicken Wings
7 layer Greek Dip with Pita Chips
Mint & Orange Salad with Orange Blossom & Honey Dressing

Chicken Shawarma
Homemade Grilled Flatbread
Paneer Mousakka
Chipotle Hummus 
Garlic Sauce

Gooseberry - Mint Soda

Zara's 1st Birthday Party Menu

Floral Vanilla Layer Cake
Chocolate drizzled Shortbread Cookies
Strawberry Oatmeal Bars
Petite Floral Vanilla Cupcakes

Firecracker Chicken Meatballs
Caramelized Onion Dip
Curried Chicken Dip

Kashmiri Chicken
Ghee Rice
Egg stew
Pork Vindaloo

Gooseberry -Mint Soda (on repeat due to demand!)
Carrot Lemonade
Zara 70

Tuesday, August 1, 2017


This dish has to be the easiest one I've made in the recent times. I mean,all you need to do is layer up some incredibly yummy stuff and bake it! If you do not have the time to poach chicken like me, you can use store bought cooked chicken. It's not going to alter the taste at all! This is a perfect make ahead dish which you can bake at the last minute and it's even a perfect weeknight meal. Also people, I have some gooooood news to share with you guys! We've been upto something for the last one month and finally it's official!

We are moving to a new home! It's super busy at our home right now since we are moving to another city plus we also celebrated Ian's birthday in between the move. I will be posting pictures from it as soon as we are done with setting up our internet stuff at our newest home. I think it's going to take a while.I cannot tell you how exhausted I am as I type this post. I am dead tired. Even my bones are tired from all the packing,cleaning and more packing! Unpacking is a whole new chapter that I will have to deal with.

So without much further talk, I am going to share this recipe with you right away!Just make sure you get hold of Simply Organic Red Enchilada Simmer Sauce  with authentic notes of ancho chili and cocoa for the best results! I used it and I can vouch for it's taste and quality. The team at Simply Organic sent me a box full of incredible ready to use sauces and I honestly cannot wait to use it. I mean, when I am scrambling to unpack and set up our brand new not-even-a-day-old home with a 10 month old in tow...these sauces are a blessing in disguise.

2 pouches Simply Organic Red Enchilada Simmer Sauce
1 small tin chopped green chilies
2 cups poached chicken or store bought cooked chicken
1 large red onion
1 large can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
3 tablespoons oil
8 regular size flour tortillas

Method: In a large pan, heat the oil on medium high heat and saute the onions till soft and translucent. Add the green chilies and chicken and saute for 2-3 minutes. Take it off the heat and let it cool. In a 9 X 13 inch baking pan, spread about 1/2 cup of the Simply Organic Red Enchilada Simmer Sauce.Take one tortilla, spread 2 tablespoons of the Simply Organic Red Enchilada Simmer Sauce and top it with some chicken mixture,beans and cheese. Roll it up and place it in the baking dish seam side down. Repeat with the remaining tortillas. Pour the remaining Simply Organic Red Enchilada Simmer Sauce over it and cover the top with the remaining cheese. Bake at 350F / 180C till the cheese melts and the top is golden. Serve hot!
Honestly, I am about to crash as I type this post. There's a whole lot of clothes to be packed up before we sleep tonight. Movers will be here tomorrow. Who would have thought we have so much clothes in our cupboards? Who would have thought we have SO much kitchen stuff? I did. Yep...I was dreading the kitchen packing actually! With all my collection of crockery and cookware...hmm. Anyway, it's all a thing of the past now.

So, bye for a while till we get our internet stuff sorted out. Until then, if you get sometime,give this dish a try! :-)

This post is sponsored by Simply Organic but all opinions are my own.
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