Ria's Collection: February 2012

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Boondi Ladoo

There was a time when I didn't know how to track the no. of visitors on my blog and there was a time I used to look forward to see that number increase.It gave me such joy that 1000's find my little bloggie useful in many ways! Most of you guys come here for recipes, some to ask me about crochet and other needlework and some of you just to read my 'stories' and take a peek at the photographs of what I post  randomly.
Boondi Ladoo

If you ask me what these 'stories' are, I wouldn't have known you read them as 'stories' until you all wrote to me. Funnily enough, I still don't consider them to be like that because I just write the association I have with that dish, from my real life :-)
Boondi Ladoo

When I got lazy in between, you all asked me to get back to this blog and start blogging again. I did and now I'm reaping the joys of it when this little space of mine has 10,00,000 hits as of today! It is a big achievement for me as I never even dreamt of this day when I started this space.

Now getting back to the ladoos, these are mine and Jobin's favourites! I've made them succesfully before, photographed them but it never made to my blog...I still wonder why! Maybe these ladoos had another destiny...to be here, on this special day :-) I dedicate these little yellow balls of pure joy to ALL OF YOU, dear readers! I wish I could share these with you in person...maybe someday it might happen! :-)

Recipe source: Manjula aunty

1c besan/chickpea flour
1/2 c plus 1 tbsp water
11/2 c sugar
1 c water
Seeds from 6 green cardamom pods,crushed
8 pcs of cashewnuts,broken
Oil for frying

Method:Make a batter using besan and 1/2 c plus 1 tbsp water. Pass it through a perforated/slotted spoon and see if you can get them to fall back into the bowl. If it doesn't, add a little more water to the batter and mix well.Bring the 1 1/2 c of sugar and 1 c water to a rolling boil and boil till it reaches 220F on a candy thermometer. Keep it off the flame. Meanwhile,heat 2 inches of oil on medium high and drop some chickepea batter into it and if it sizzles up right away, you are good to proceed. Hold the perforated spoon 2 inches above the oil and pour the batter through it.The batter will fall as round balls into the oil, which is what we want. Fry them till they stop sizzling and golden brown in colour.Repeat and make sure your wipe your perforated spoon in between all the batches.Add these fried boondi's to the sugar syrup and let them soak for 10 mins. Transfer the soaked boondi's to a plate to cool a little until they are still warm to touch. Form balls/ladoos by squeezing them in between your palms, it might test your patience but it's worth every squeeze!

After my Piano lessons last night, we went shopping to the Malayali store here and found some sweets stacked up in the cooler. I gazed at them for a while and in the meantime Jobin pinpointed his favourites and even I pinpointed mine and finally we both pinpointed at the Boondi ladoos together! I asked him if he wanted me to pick up a box and he said, 'No, I want the ones you make, I like them the best!'. Now, no matter what, I had to get that request fulfilled! :-)

Now,with my feet up on our Lazyboy, watching the snow fall and with the warm ladoos sitting next to me,I'm waiting for him to get back from work and start digging into these along with him. These laddoos doesn't stay long in our house, they are so yummy!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

HEARTS & ROSES CAKE... as we turn 2!

Hearts & Roses

Time sure flies! We both observe a moment of silence when we think of how fast the time flew by! It's just because we both still cannot believe it's been 2 full years! I am sure every single one of you, who are happily married,feels the same.It's been a year since I found out a way of doing that checkerboard cake without adding another set of baking tins into my already bursting drawer.It's been a year since we went for a ride on a dog sleigh! Life's is beautiful!


Whenever I bake a cake for any personal occasions, I look forward to having a twist in it.If it was a checkerboard cake last time, it's something else this time. I am just loving how my brain can think and my heart wanting to do it even if I lose my sleep over such petty issues :-) Really! I go to sleep thinking of colours,combinations or even what platter I should place the cake on! Aren't these supposed to be the little things that we shouldn't be worrying upon? Actually, I always feel, life is all about tackling the small issues that come by us and not waiting for that big one,which we think is the most important.

Heart & Roses

Anyway, why waste this good day on such thoughts! Let's move on! So, I got this idea from my fellow Minneostan food blogger, Amanda.  Somehow, being the lazy self that I am, I didn't want to bake another cake for the centre part instead wanted to get away with a filling. I was just hoping that my idea wouldn't break my heart when we cut into the cake on this BIG day! I asked Amanda what she thought about it and got a green signal with a 'chill it well' advice.

Hearts & Roses

Now, this is how it looks like :-) What do you guys think about it? We felt it was really cool! I enjoyed piping the roses over the cake and filling with a girly pink frosting. I wondered if Jobin would pass a comment on the colour but he didn't!

Hearts & Roses cake

Recipe source for the cake: Hersheys
Recipe source for the frosting & filling: Alice

Ingredients :
1 3/4 c flour
2 c sugar
3/4 c cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1/2 c oil
1 c buttermilk
1 c strong black coffee
1 tsp vanilla

Method: Pre-heat the oven to 350C and line two 9 inch baking tins.
In a large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together. Add the wet ingredients to it and beat well for 2 minutes. Pour into your baking tins (halfway) and bake for 35-40 mins or till done. I used three 6 inch baking tins but used just 2 cakes for the final assembly.

1 c /2 sticks unsalted butter,softened
3 c powdered sugar,sifted
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp vanilla
upto 4 tbsp milk

Method:In a large mixing bowl on high, beat butter for a minute until it's soft and fluffy.Add the sugar and beat on low till well combined. Add salt, vanilla and 2 tbsp milk and beat on medium for 3 minutes.Add colour if needed and beat for a minute. I needed a stiff frosting for the centre filling and a soft frosting for the roses, so after I filled the cake, I added another tablespoon of milk to the frosting and beat  it for a minute.

Assembly: Cut the cakes as shown below and fill it with buttercream.
Heart cake

Sandwich the two edges using melted chocolate.The cake with the pyramid goes on top. Give it a crumb coating with the buttercream and then pipe roses with 1M tip from Wilton. 

Our celebration cakes are always meant to be a surprise for Jobin. Therefore he was banned from using or even touching the refrigerator starting from last evening. Indeed that had it's effects when he saw the cake this morning !
OUR day!

This cake is super moist and the buttercream perfectly sweet.It compliments each other very well!

Saturday, February 4, 2012



Finally we got our computer back and I'm hoping, really hoping to be regular from now on.Now, let's get talking about this super cool colourful favourite dessert of mine! Falooda, originally a Persian dessert,was introduced to us Indians during the Mughal rule. I've never been a fan of it until a few months back.It was Amma's forever favourite thing to eat in an Ice Cream Parlour.If not a Falooda, she would order a Fruit Salad with Ice Cream.I never understood what's so special about Falooda.


Falooda was a very commonly discussed subject in my house.The first time I remember seeing it was about 17 years ago, for my cousin sisters wedding reception. The Groom's family made it and it was for a huge crowd. Seeing all the ingredients then, I assumed it to be a very elaborate thing to make. I think I was one of the few people who didn't attempt tasting what they served that night.Little did I know what was in store for me!


17 years later...I am hooked onto this wonderful cold dessert! I've made this so so many times and I've never got enough of it. It has many layers and different textures.I'm sure, if you give this a try you would love it! This dessert can be made way ahead of time and assembled in the very last minute.

My own recipe

Things you'll need:
1 batch Vermicelli Kheer (recipe follows)
1 tbsp Tukmaria/Sabja seeds/Basil seeds {NOT Poppy seeds}
1 small packet jelly/jello, of your choice
Fruits of your choice,cut up
Rooh-Afza,a rose flavoured syrup
2 c cold milk
Sugar to taste
Vanilla Ice Cream

For the Vermicelli Kheer: In a pan,roast 1/2 c of vermicelli on low flame till pale golden brown.Increase the heat to medium,add 2 cups of milk and cook till the vermicelli is soft, stirring often. Add 1/4 c plus 2 tsp sugar and cook till the mixture is thickened slightly.Switch off the heat and let it cool. Chill till needed.
For the Rose Milk: To the 2 cups cold milk add Rooh-Afza and sugar to taste. Chill till needed.
For the Tukmaria: Soak the seeds in 1 c water for 10 mins. Drain and reserve.

Assembly: In a tall glass add 2 tsp of tukmaria followed by vermicelli,fruits and cut up jello. Pour some rose milk just to cover the assembly. Top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and serve immediately.

I love photographing what I cook, especially desserts as I get to eat it right after :-) Our friends had come over last night for a potluck and I served this for dessert. They loved it and so did we.I think I'm going to have another glass full of it once this post is published because these pictures are making me drool!

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