Friday, 30 January 2015

Gazarachi kheer : Carrot Kheer

I'm on a carrot-cooking spree!!! Gajar halwa, Gajar pickle and i even made gajar chutney of which i will post the recipe soon. Guess, it's just the season (or the fact that i got 1 kg carrots at a steal price at the Sunday market :)). Whatever the reason, can't deny the fact that carrots are good for health and hence, a little overdose of them won't do any harm. Of late, my sweet cravings have increased that after every meal, i at least need a bite of chocolate if not anything, just to satisfy myself. So, every other day a dessert is made in the kitchen! Me and hubby both are kheer lovers. So, i digged into my refrigerator and found half a can of milkmaid and carrots! There! My dessert recipe was done!

Carrot kheer can be made with or without addition of rice. I have added rice, just because i wanted something wholesome to our otherwise light dinner of Maggi and egg :

Have any of you tried this combination?It's unbeatable, right? 
So, you can make the kheer without rice. Also i have added milkmaid, but you can replace it with sugar or add both according to personal preference. We like it a little less sweet and since i had milkmaid in the fridge, i decided to make with the same. Addition of milkmaid also gives it a thick consistency - somewhat like pudding. 

But trust me, whichever way you make it, you are going to lick the bowl clean. It tastes absolutely delicious!!!


Carrots - 3
Milkmaid - 3 tbsp
Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp
Almonds - a few
Raisins - a few
Ghee - 2 tbsp
Rice - 1/4 cup
Full cream milk - 1/2 litre


Soak 1/4 cup rice in a little water for about 15 minutes and then drain. Set aside for another 15 minutes.

Boil the milk and simmer it. Keep stirring in between so it doesn't stick to the bottom and also scrape the malai from the sides of the vessel.

Wash, peel and grate the carrots.

Heat ghee in a pan, add carrots and saute for about 3-4 minutes. Don't saute it a lot till they change colour (like we make halwa), this is just so they turn a little soft. Now add the rice, mix and saute along with the carrots for about 4-5 minutes.

Add this to the simmering milk and mix well.

Keep stirring in between and cook till milk starts to reduce (it almost reduces to half). By that time, the rice is cooked too and the carrots become soft and one with the milk.

Now add in the cardamom powder and raisins.

Crush the almonds with a mortar and pestle (just so it breaks uneven) and add to the milk.

Lastly, add in milkmaid. Check the sweetness. If desired, add more milkmaid and/or sugar and cook till sugar dissolves.

Garnish with chopped almonds.

Note: If you are adding sugar instead of milkmaid, add it to the milk before adding the carrot and rice. If you feel the kheer has thickened a lot, add little milk. I added homemade cream (saay, as we call it in Marathi - the cream on top of milk boiled). Or you can refrigerate it and have it as a pudding.

Happy Cooking :)

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Gazaraacha loncha aka Gajar ka achaar aka carrot pickle

Pickles synonym "Mouth-watering", isn't it? I love making chutneys and pickles, it adds a zing even to a simple meal of daal-chawal. Last year when my mother had visited, she had stacked some Slurpee mix vegetable pickle and green chilli pickle for us. When i visit my mother-in-law, she always packs me a jar of pickle of lemon or mango. All homemade - Can it get better? When we had gone for a vacation to Kasauli ( Experiences at Kasauli ), i had picked up some local chutneys to carry back home. So to say, chutneys and pickles have always been a part of my kitchen. 

At times, some instant, quick and easy ones take shape in the kitchen too. My favourite being the "Danyachi chutney" meaning a chutney made literally in less than a minute with peanut powder. This is my all time favourite and have learnt it from my mother. Peanut powder, red chilli powder, salt, curd and water. Mix it all and eat it with parathas, dosas, or just apply it on a slice of bread. Yummy is the word!! 

Now, back to the recipe. Since it's the season that we get red, juicy and fresh carrots, i thought of making an instant carrot pickle. Recently, a bottle of mustard oil has made way in my kitchen (I honestly want to say, i had never used mustard oil till date but now, am loving it so much that almost all chutneys and pickles i am making recently are with the same). Yes, it does have a strong aroma, but its best used in this season and i have kind-of developed a taste for it.


Carrots - 1/4 kg (Cut them in thin strips)
Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp + a pinch
Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp (or according to taste)
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt - to taste
Sugar - 1/2 tsp
Dry ginger powder - 1/2 tsp (optional)
Ginger - 1/2 inch grated
Mustard seeds - 3/4 tsp (Actually you can add 1/2 tsp, mine was a little extra i guess)
Garlic - 3-4 cloves crushed
Fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tsp ( Dry roast them and crush them to a powder in a mortar and pestle)
Green chillies - 2-3 (or as required) Slit from between.
Curry leaves - a few
Oil (I used mustard oil, but you can use normal oil) - 3 tbsp
Vinegar - 1 tsp


Add 1/4 tsp asafoetida, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt, dry ginger powder and fenugreek powder to the carrot strips and mix well. 

Set aside for about 15 minutes.

Heat oil in a kadhai, add mustard seeds and a pinch of asafoetida. When the seeds crackle, add curry leaves, crushed garlic, grated ginger and green chillies.

Saute for a minute and then add the marinated carrot.

Saute till everything mixes well.

Remove the kadhai from fire, add vinegar and mix well. Let it cool.

You can add more hot oil from top if needed.

Store in refrigerator in air tight container. Lasts up to a week.

Instant carrot pickle is ready :))

Happy cooking :)

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Vegetable Burger

I don't know if i have mentioned this in any of my earlier posts, that i am a big fan of this program "Eat St" (Eat Street) that comes on the channel "Nat Geo people". In fact, that particular channel has some terrific food shows (Apart from my favourite Cesar Milan :)) like Street food from around the world hosted by Ishai Golan (Of course, some shows are repeats), Food lovers guide to the planet, Top tables top cities (Again by Ishai Golan) and Grandma's boy (where they show the cute looking Irish chef Donal learning secret recipes from Nona's (grannies) of Italy). A lot of cooking that i see lately is done with wine, and me and hubby both being wine lovers, i want to try it someday. So, i am doing some wine cooking learning these days and one of the very interesting information chart that i came across about wine that i would like to share with you all :

So, while cooking in wine is still long, i decided to satisfy our sinful cravings (looking at the cheesy, creamy, fried lip smacking smart food that is shown on eat street) with some homemade burgers. So, a quick walk down the road to get some buns, taking out my all-time-saviors (boiled potatoes) from the refrigerator, boiling some veggies, frying the patty and putting everything together in the bun - it all happened within 45 minutes!!! Trust me, it's that simple and that easy if you have boiled potatoes ready at hand. I always stack some in the refrigerator.

A warm cheesy burger, some tortilla chips by the side and a glass of hot chocolate and our dinner was done!!! :)


Boiled potatoes : 2 medium
Boiled vegetables - 1 cup ( i used a mix of carrots, french beans and peas)
Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Corriander powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt - to taste
Chaat masala - to taste
Cornflour (you can even add maida)- 1 tbsp
Oil - to shallow fry the patties
Burger buns - 3-4
Tomato - 1
Onion - 1
Cheese slices - 3-4 (or you can make it double cheese)
Mayonnaise - as required
Green chilli sauce - as required (optional)
Tomato ketchup - as required (optional)
I didn't have lettuce at hand, but you can use them if you have.


Mash the boiled potatoes well. Now mash the boiled vegetables and mix them together well. 

Add red chilli powder, salt, corriander powder, chaat masala and cornflour and mix it all well.

Shape into round size patties according to desired thickness. I prefer them to be not too thin (as they would break or becomes difficult to flip) or too thick (as it takes a lot of time to cook and hence absorbs more oil, also at times remains uncooked from within). So make medium sized patties.

Heat oil in  a pan and shallow fry the patties both sides till golden brown.

Remove excess oil by patting the patties on a tissue napkin.

Cut the burger buns into half and apply a little butter on both sides.

Now toast the buns on a dry tava till they become warm or little brown.

Make thin slices of the onion and tomato.

On one of the half buns (lower), put a slice of cheese, 2 thinly sliced tomatoes and 2 thinly sliced onions. Now place the burger patty on top of it.

On the second half bun (upper), apply some mayonnaise, green chilli sauce(optional) and some ketchup (optional). 

Place this bun on top of the patty. Put a toothpick in between so that everything sticks together (and is in one place :)) while serving.

Note: You can add an extra slice of cheese if you wish. You can even add some cumin powder or garam masala to the patty for a different taste. The number of slices of onions/tomatoes to be added is according to choice. You can skip adding them too. Here's a simple one i had made once - just the buns, cheese slice, patty and some sliced tomatoes :)

Drool-iscious Burger is ready :))

Happy cooking :))

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Food from waste: Paratha rolls

Well, i am of the opinion to use as much natural things as possible and to make sure the waste happens to minimum. To the extent, that i recycle my kitchen waste for composting (nothing big to brag about, as everyone should do this) and making sure to eat fresh and natural than the processed stuff. I am reading a lot about homesteading these days, and as much as i want to have my own kitchen garden here, i can't! All thanks to the cute 4 legged's i board who keep going to the balcony either to eat the leaves or at times even release their nature call. :P So, now i am trying to develop our fish room balcony into a kitchen garden. Though it's small, i am sure i can at least harvest some basic herbs in it. Just waiting for the weather to get a little better as it rained here today, and the wind chills have increased. So cosying up below my blanket, here i am writing today's post.

Cooking, i believe, is an art learnt by practicing. It's all about sharing, observing and practicing as compared to any other art of craft, drawing or music where people have an innate talent. I can say this, as through my 2 years of cooking journey (yes, if you have read my first few posts, you would have known that i started cooking only after marriage!), i have observed my own growth. The way food tasted when i cooked first and now, has improved tremendously and am sure 5 years down the line, i would have had much more expertise with experience.
Just as our mothers and grannies don't cook with 'measurements', but 'judgments', we too would reach that level with patience and practice. 

This recipe is just an example of how my journey has helped me to think of this innovation. I always used to wonder why we throw away the stems of all the leafy vegetables that we eat - like spinach, methi or even mooli. Is it because they don't taste well? or is it because they are bad for our health? or is it because they don't have any nutritional value? I don't think the reason is any of this, and neither did i find any answers to it in Google except for the fact that they are dirty and they are thick. So what? Wash them thoroughly and make a paste of it! Simple! I tried incorporating it in our diet and here is what was born...

Looks tempting, isn't it? We love it so much that now the stems will never see the compost bin, but our tiffin boxes :) Yes, this makes for a great breakfast or tiffin recipe. Now lets get to method :


Stems of all leafy vegetables like spinach, methi, mooli etc. - i took remains of about 1/2 bundle of each
Whole wheat flour (Atta) - 1 n half cup (Add more or less depending on the puree that you get)
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Corriander powder - 1 tsp
Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Ginger-garlic-green chilli paste ( Just chop them and make a coarse paste in mortar and pestle of about 5-6 garlic, 1/2 inch ginger and 1-2 green chillies )
Salt - to taste
Oil - 1 tsp in dough plus to fry
Mayonnaise - as needed
Tomato ketchup - as needed
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Ajwaiin - 1/2 tsp


Chop the stems and wash them thoroughly under running water so that no dirt remains.

Now in a mixer grinder, make a fine paste of these stems. Initially don't add water. Then add little water if needed. If the paste is a little coarse, not a problem.

Now in a mixing bowl, add all the dry spices, the stem-paste, flour, salt, ginger-garlic-chilli paste and 1 tsp oil and knead into a nice dough. Add flour little by little checking the consistency of the dough. The dough shouldn't be too sticky, hence add water accordingly too. Knead a nice soft dough as we make a roti or paratha dough.
The dough looks like this :

Now divide them in equal sized balls and roll out into a paratha.

Heat a tava and fry the paratha, adding oil on both sides and frying till you get nice brown spots on each side.

Now spread some tomato ketchup and mayonnaise on the paratha, and roll it. Now cut it in two halves.

You can also add any filling of your choice or even some leftover sabzi or aloo sabzi, just for a different taste.

Now, isn't that interesting? Food from waste!!! Let me know if you have any such more ideas.

Happy Cooking :)

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Aloo Poshto

My first taste of aloo poshto is when my best friend in Mumbai had invited me and a couple of more friends for lunch and her mother has cooked this for us! Needless to say, she is a Bengali, of whose help i had taken along with my pet-client, now a friend, Arpita, when making the Payesh.

I have had aloo poshto at a few Bengali restaurants but that homemade taste always lingered on my mind. Poshto is basically khas-khas (poppy seeds) made along with potatoes. Since i had a packet of khas-khas in my kitchen, i decided to give it a try (knowing that it won't taste as good as aunty had made), but to my surprise, it turned out so good that now i feel extremely 'stupid' to have not tried it before for the fear of getting it all wrong.

When my friend gave me the recipe, i did search a few other websites and blogs on the internet to know their version of the dish, and i found that there are many ways in which this is made and eaten. Some make this dry, some keep it wet... A few i saw, add kalonji (onion seeds) while some just add jeera (cumin seeds). A few fry the aloo, few steam it and some cook it along with the poshto. This version here is exactly how my friend told me (Adjust the green chillies according to taste)


Potatoes (aloo) - 2 -3 medium
Khas khas - 6 tbsp
Mustard oil (you can use normal oil too) - 2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Asafoetida (hing) - a pinch
Green chillies - 2-3 (according to taste)
Salt - to taste
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Chilli powder (optional) - 1/4tsp- 1/2 tsp
Water - as needed


Soak the khas khas in water overnight or at least for 6 hours. ( If you don't have time at hand, soak it in warm water for at least half an hour before cooking)

Now drain the water and put this in a mixer-grinder. Grind to a fine paste along with 1 green chilli. The paste should really be fine and smooth. If needed, add little water, or else make a paste just like that. The khas khas will tend to rise (become fluffy), don't stir it. Let it be

In a pan, add the oil, asafoetida and cumin seeds. Once they crackle, add the green chilli. Now add the potatoes and fry them for a while.

Cover and cook for about 3-4 minutes on low flame. Now add turmeric powder and salt (and chilli powder if adding). Mix it all well, and again cover and cook . You can also put some water inside the pan to cook the potatoes, but don't over cook it. The potatoes shouldn't become mushy.
For me, covering and stirring it in between ( so the potatoes don't stick to the pan or burn) was just fine.

Now add the poshto paste and mix well, so that the potatoes are covered with the paste.

Add salt and water (according to the consistency wanted), and cook for another 5 minutes.

Garnish with a spoonful of mustard oil.

Serve this along with roti, puris or rice.

Happy cooking :)

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Sprouts Cutlets

It's winter time, and there is always that urge to have a hot snack in evenings like Appe , Bread PohaUpmaPeanut butter squaresBatata Vadas or a simple Maggi does good too. But what better than to make and serve something new? And there came a whatsapp picture from one of my pet-clients, now a friend, of Sprouts cutlets that she had made for her son's birthday!!! I couldn't help asking her for the recipe, since coincidentally i had sprouted moong in my kitchen. And there - my saturday evening snack was ready!!!

I made a few changes to the recipe she told me. She made a paste of the sprouts directly, i fried them which gave them a little crispier texture. I added a few other spices than red chilli powder and salt, just to give that zing. So, you can make it either ways, and trust me, you will have an explosion of flavours bursting in your mouth. I normally make Usal or misal or just dry sprout sabzi with moong and matki, but this one is a great addition to the snack menu. Do try it, it's quite simple.

And well, if you have guests coming over, you can make these well in advance and warm them in microwave- they don't turn soggy or lose their texture/taste even after long. So, here's how i made them (Thanks to Amita for the original recipe)


Sprouted moong (Soak about 1/2 cup moong overnight, drain and keep in air tight container in refrigerator. It will automatically start sprouting, or else buy readymade sprouted moong. You can also use matki or any other sprouts)
Oil - 1 tsp and for frying
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida (hing) - 1/4 tsp
Salt - to taste
Green chillies - 2 -3 (Adjust according to taste)
Ginger - 1/2 inch
Garlic - 4 cloves
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
Corriander powder - 1 tsp
Besan - 1 tbsp (Though the moong paste acts as a binding agent, i added this just so my cutlets turn out more crispier)
Corriander leaves - a few (chopped)
Chopped vegetables of your choice ( I used carrots, cabbage and french beans but you can add any like onions, capsicum, peas etc)


Chop the ginger, garlic and green chillies and crush them to a paste in a mortar and pestle.

Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan, add cumin seeds and hing. When they crackle, add the chilli-ginger-garlic paste. Sprinkle the turmeric powder and salt.
At this stage, you can also add some chopped onions and fry if you wish to.

Now add the sprouted moong and on medium flame, keep frying them till they change colour (turns a little yellow).

Let it cool down. Now, make it into a paste in a mixer-grinder. Try not to add water, but if needed add a little water. 

In a mixing bowl, take this paste, add garam masala, corriander powder, besan, chopped vegetables, salt and corriander leaves. Mix together well.

Waiting to the fried

Now shape them as you like and deep fry the cutlets till the outer cover turns brown. 

They give a perfect texture of crispy from outside-soft from inside and are melt in the mouth when served with ketchup. You can also serve them along with some mayo-mint chutney.

Happy Cooking :)

Friday, 16 January 2015


Having Bengali friends around and not posting a single Bengali recipe was not going so well with me. I have tried making a lot of Bengali dishes lately of which Baingan Bhaja and Payesh are my favourites. Aloo Poshto tastes lip smacking too, but i havent tried making it yet. Guess that's this weekend menu, since i do have khas-khas (poppy seeds) in my kitchen! 

Every cuisine have their own distinct flavours and methods of preparation. Let's take Payesh - a kheer made from rice and boiled milk. There are so many different ways of preparing it. Some would boil the rice and milk together, some would boil the milk and then add rice. Some would add jaggery, and some would add sugar or a mix of both. People even make it with condensed milk or a mix of all. A friend of mine doesn't add jaggery but a paste of cashews and sugar. As they say...the food, water, taste changes every few kilometers in India.

I always feel that a particular dish tastes different related to a lot of factors. Lets say a simple bread butter toast would taste different sitting at home or at a dhaba or sitting by the riverside on a picnic or some 5 star hotel. The ambiance, the weather, the people you are with everything matters for the food that we eat. The taste also matters in regard to who is it cooking , and in what frame of mind. The same dish would taste different if i am cooking it with feelings of anger/frustration or so of happiness/ calmness. And it applies to the one eating it too. A dish would taste different if my mind is preoccupied with something else, or if i am watching television while eating or if i am reading a book or watching nature. Don't you all feel so? Give it a try.

Well, coming back to the post. A dear friend of mine got me some nolen gur (Date palm jaggery)during her visit back home. 

Since it was Sankranti yesterday, i thought of making Payesh. I couldn't post any recipe/picture yesterday, since my internet was down for almost 2 days for some reason. Yes, i definitely did make Til-gul (which i had posted last year), and here's wishing you all "Til gul ghya goad goad bola" :)

Payesh, as i made it with Nolen gur (Suggestions from 2 bengali friends):


Full cream milk - 1 litre
Rice (i took Basmati rice) - 1/4 cup
Nolen gur (Jaggery) - little less than 1/2 cup (add according to taste)
Cardamom powder - 1 tsp
Bay leaf - 2

That's it! 5 ingredients and you are done!! You can add nuts, nutmeg powder, sugar etc according to your wish but i preferred keeping it basic.


Wash the rice till water is clear, drain and keep aside.

Bring the milk to boil and keep boiling it on sim to reduce it. 

Make sure you keep stirring it in between, and also scraping the cream from the sides.

After about 10 minutes, add the 2 bay leaves to the boiling milk.

Once milk reduces to 3/4th, add the rice. Now let the milk boil till rice is fully cooked. The milk will start changing colour to little yellowish.

Once the rice is cooked, the milk will have reduced to almost half. Now add the cardamom powder and mix.

Turn off the stove. Now add the jaggery (Add little pieces or grated jaggery and stir - it will melt automatically when you stir- no need to boil/cook it).

Payesh is ready!!! This one was loved by hubby's colleagues at office :) The nolen gur takes the taste to almost another level, but you can add normal jaggery instead too. 

Happy cooking :)

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Batatyachya Kaachrya

Holiday season is over and we are back to eating the basics - our standard meal of roti, sabzi, daal, chawal. A typical maharashtrian meal would be rice- Saadha varan (plain daal) and batata bhaaji (Potato sabzi). This sabzi can be made in different ways, but the most common and most easiest when you have nothing left in the kitchen but just potatoes is Kaachrya. Also known as Pivlya batatyachi bhaaji (Yellow potato sabzi), this one tastes perfect with daal-chawal (Rice and daal) or even with chapatis. I even love to eat chapatis, kaachrya and lahsun chutney (Garlic chutney). 

Traditionally this dish is made with potatoes, salt and phodni (tadka of hing, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and turmeric powder). But just for change of taste, here i have added a pinch of sesame seeds and fennel seeds to the phodni. You can add onions if you wish, or even roasted peanut powder in the end for change of taste. Any other vegetable can be added to it too, like capsicum, brinjal or french beans as per choice. But i prefer having kaachrya just plain without much of additions. Sometimes, minimalism is the key, right?


Potatoes - 4 medium
Salt - to taste

For phodni (tadka) :
Oil - 2 tbsp
mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Sesame seeds - 1/4 tsp (optional)
Fennel seeds - 1/4 tsp (optional)
Methi seeds - 1/4 tsp (optional)
Hing (Asafoetida) - a pinch

If you want a little spice, you can add red chilli powder or green chillies but traditionally it is not added.


Wash and peel the potatoes (In villages, they don't even skin the potatoes. Tastes great even that way)

Cut these potatoes into half and then into thin slices. The slices should not be too thin or too thick. Check photo for reference. If the slices are too thin, the sabzi turns out crispy. If they are too thick, it takes longer to cook and at times, the potatoes remain raw from the middle or inside. 

Heat oil in a kadhai (We normally make this in a kadhai, but you can make it in a pan too)

Add the mustard seeds. When they crackle, add hing and cumin seeds. 
Add the sesame, methi and fennel seeds now (if adding).

Don't let it brown too much, just saute for 30 seconds or so.

Now add the turmeric powder and then the potatoes.

I normally cook this sabzi uncovered and always on low flame, but if you are in a hurry, you can cover and cook or saute on medium/high flame, but make sure the potatoes don't burn.

Add salt and mix well.

Now cover for about 3-4 minutes and cook till potatoes are done.

Now isn't that too simple?

Note : You can even add some lemon juice or garnish with corriander leaves for change of taste.

There are immense options to make this sabzi, try a different one each time and taste the different flavours. But don't forget to make it the traditional style once. - Potatoes, salt and simple phodni cooked in kadhai!!!

Happy Cooking :)

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Rum cake

I know i am late in wishing you all! A very Happy New Year to all of you. Thank you for all the support you gave reading my posts last year and i hope there is more and more of cooking and blogging this year than the last :) Not only cooking and blogging, but i have seen some tremendous talented fellow bloggers, or should i say multi-talented fellow bloggers? Some paint, some write poems, some teach and some craft...So, i wish success to all of you in whatever you do. It feels great to see immense amount of "art" and "talent" everywhere around. Keep it going.

New Year's this time was cold, foggy and windy. Coping up with the season, i thought of indulging in some warm, moist, soft Rum cake. And i must say, this one was baked to perfection!!! It turned out so well that it was finished in almost a day (Yeah, it was just the two of us, but it was "holiday-eating" season :)) This time i forgot to pre-soak the fruits well in advance, as i already had my hands full with pet-sitting, you can see it here...

Some do soak almost a month in advance, the last year (2013 Christmas Cake ) i had soaked 15 days in advance but this year, i only soaked it for 3 days before making the cake and i guess, it wasn't bad either. A day in advance is good too, but the more the better. I have mentioned this before that me and hubby usually like normal cakes (ones without icing), so this one was served just as it is. But you can add any toppings/icing of your choice if you wish.

Recipe adapted from : Anshu-My Mom's recipes


To soak :
1 cup of any mixed nuts/dry fruits of your choice - I soaked raisins, orange zest, cashews, dried dark strawberries and tutti fruiti.
1/4 cup Rum 

For the cake:
Rum - 1/4 cup
Maida - 1 2/3 cup
Baking powder - 3/4 tsp
Baking soda - 1/4 tsp
Cocoa powder - 1/3 cup
Sugar - 1 1/4 cup
Egg - 1
Butter - a little less than 3/4 cup
Soaked nuts/dry fruits


Soak the nuts/dry fruits in rum and keep in air tight container. If soaking for days, then stir and mix it well once a day.

Grease and dust a baking pan and keep aside.

Powder the sugar in mixer/grinder.

Sieve together Maida, baking soda, baking powder and cocoa powder.

Add the powdered sugar to it. Mix well with a spatula to make sure no lumps exist.

Boil 1 cup of water and add the rum to it. Also add the soaked nuts. Mix well. Let this come to room temperature before adding anything.

Melt butter in microwave and keep aside. Do not let the butter solidify again and make sure you don't add hot/warm butter to anything. Let it come to room temperature.

Beat egg in a bowl. Add butter and beat again.

Add this to the rum mixture. 

Now slowly add the dry Maida mixture to this and mix. Do not over-mix. Gently mix till everything mixes well together.

Pour this mixture in the baking pan and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degree Celsius for about 40-45 minutes. Start checking after 40 minutes if the toothpick is coming out clean. If yes, remove from the oven and let it cool.

This cake comes out a perfect texture, colour and taste. Don't miss trying this one :) I have dusted a little powdered sugar on top (which is completely optional).

Happy Cooking! Happy Blogging! And Happy New Year once again :)