Sunday, July 31, 2016

Sunshine Pudding

This recipe was taken from Vanitha magazine (forgot which edition though). I had put my name for a cooking competition held by one of the associations in Kuwait and guess what, this pudding won the third prize :) :) :). 
Thanks to Vanitha and the author of this recipe.

Here is how it is prepared:


First Layer:
1. Apricots – 20
2. Water – 3 cup
3. Sugar – 1 cup

Second Layer:
4. China grass – 8gm
     Water – 1 ½ cup
5. Condensed milk – 1 tin
     Milk – 5 cups
     Sugar – 5 tbsp
6. Vanilla Essence – 1 tsp

Third Layer:
7. China grass – 7gm
    Water – 1 ½ cup
8. Fresh Orange juice – 3 cups
    Lemon juice – a little
    Sugar – as required


1. De-seed the apricots and cook it with water. Add the sugar after the apricots are   
    cooked well and mix it well.

2. Once the above sauce is ready, let it cool and pour it into a glass dish.

3. To prepare the second layer, soak the china grass in water for 10 minutes.
    Melt it on a medium flame.

4. In the same time in another pan, add the milk, condensed milk, and sugar and
    heat it. Keep stirring continuously.

5. Once the china grass is melted, pour it into the milk mixture. Remove from flame
    and add the vanilla essence, stir well, and let it cool a bit.

6. Pour the china grass mixture over the apricot sauce layer and keep it in the fridge
    to set.

7. Melt the china grass for the third layer.

8. Mix orange juice, lemon juice and sugar and heat it. Once the china grass is  
    melted, add it to the orange juice mixture , mix well and remove from fire.

9. Keep the orange juice-china grass mixture in the fridge and when it starts to set,
    using a spoon , spread it over the pudding as the third layer and allow it to set.

10. Decorate with cherries, oranges and caramelized nuts.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Vegetable Biriyani recipe (Annie's Kitchen)

    1.    Basmati rice - 500gm (soaked and drained)
    2.    Onion - 6 big
    3.    Carrot - 2 big (julienne)
    4.    Beans - 2 cups
    5.    Cauliflower - ½ cauliflower
    6.    Tomato - 2
    7.    Chana dal - 3 tbsp
    8.    Ghee - a lot
    9.    Ginger-garlic paste - 1 tbsp
    10. Green chilli - 3 or 4
    11. Cashews - ½ cup
    12. Raisins - ½ cup
    13. Coriander leaves
    14. Rambha leaves
    15. Chilli powder - 1 tsp
    16. Coriander powder - 1 tsp
    17. Turmeric powder - ¼ tsp
    18. Cashew nut paste - 4 tbsp

Garam masala
1.    Fennel seeds - 1 tsp
2.    Cloves - 8
3.    Black pepper corns - ¼ tsp
4.    Cardamom - 6
5.    Cinnamon- 1 small piece
6.    Khus khus - 1 tsp
7.    Star anise - 2

Add 4 tbsp ghee to a hot pan. Add 2 pieces of cinnamon, 4 cardamom, 2 star anise, 4 cloves (to give a flavor to the rice). Next add the soaked and drained rice and fry it. Add enough water and salt and cook the rice.

In another pan, add 2 tbsp ghee. Add 1 cup of sliced onion and fry it.
After that fry the cashews and raisins.
Now add the onion, ginger-garlic paste, 2tsp of chopped green chilli.
Add the carrot, beans, cauliflower, add turmeric powder (1/4 tsp), 1 tsp chilli powder, 1 tsp coriander powder, 1 tsp of garam masala and salt. Add the tomato, stir well and add the Rambha leaves. Add cashew nut paste. Let the veggies cook.

Once they are done, add enough masala to the rice, mix well and garnish with the fried onion, cashews and raisins. Serve with raitha and pappad.

A twist to the traditional raitha recipe: Add some finely ground coconut paste to the raitha. This indeed was tasty.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Once upon a cheat day...

This is one of those perfect ‘cheat day’ options.
The tiny packet costs .050 fils and is the size of the palm of your hand.
Considering the fact that most chips packet is filled 3/4th with air (:p), one would end up eating only a few chips; just enough to curb the cravings.
[Well if you buy a lot of those tiny packets and end up eating all, then don’t blame me]

Sunday, July 24, 2016

The lemon and honey miracle drink?

Lemon and honey in lukewarm water is touted all over the net as the miracle drink to loose weight. Drink it up first thing in the morning and all the fat will just melt off!
How can a drink make you thin?????????????
Well I am not discouraging ya. Just thinking loud.

Some people add a pinch of cinnamon or cayenne pepper to the drink.

My take on the drink:
1. Its rich in Vitamin C. So you don't fall ill often if you drink this regularly
2. It is an excellent detox drink
3. It gives you that boost of energy in the morning because of the honey added to the drink.

This drink can be had for health reasons; and not for loosing weight! 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Revlon lipstick-Cherries in the snow(440)

So now I am the proud owner of a lipstick shade which has been in the market since the 1950's. 

The shade number is 440 and it is a creme based lipstick and comes in a classic black and gold packaging.

As you can see from the pic above, the lipstick bullet can be seen from the top because of the transparent top part of the cap. But then one cannot get a good view of the lipstick shade through the cap; just a peek. It is not a bulky packaging and the cylindrical shape ensures travel friendliness :)

The lipstick is very creamy and easily glides on the lips. The colour is an awesome raspberry shade or majenta with blue undertones. It is really really pigmented and can brighten up the face. Since its a bold shade, I prefer to keep the face and eye makeup minimal when using this lipstick.

It suits all skin tones. The lipstick lasts on the lips for a good 4 hours (using a lip liner can add to the longevity of the lipstick on the lips). The creaminess factor decreases by time and it turns into more of a matte finish. There is no need to apply a lip balm before using the lipstick or during the wearing time. 

It does leave a tint on the lips at the end of the day. The above pic is a testimony to that.

An amazing shade which can give a pop of colour to your face and a must have in your vanity box, I say.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Maybelline master ink liquid eyeliner

When Boots has a buy 2 get one free offer ; and you end up wondering what is the third product to buy to avail this offer, the sales assistant leads me to this liquid eyeliner. Now my favourite eyeliner is from Bourjois (click here to read review). I thought, why not! Let me try a new one. 

The Maybelline master ink liquid eyeliner comes in a black and white packaging. The cap is long and slender and body is black. It is available in satin and matte finishes. I bought the satin one in luminous black. 

The product does have a chemical smell. The brush is sturdy and pointy. You can get a thin line close to the eyelashes with this brush (now that requires a bit of practice). The product is very pigmented and gives a satiny finish (a bit shiny;not too much). The eyeliner stays put on the eyes without smudging till I take it off. 

I prefer a matte finish when it comes to eyeliner and a flexible brush rather than a sturdy one; that is just a personal preference.

Overall a good product for the price. 

Chicken Biriyani recipe from Annies Kitchen

Annies Kitchen is a cookery cum chat show that airs on Amtita TV and is hosted by actress Annie. There is a simplicity and cuteness in her presentation which makes it worth a watch. But sadly one has to listen and write down the ingredients and method. I wish the producers of the show could list it out in the description section of the video. By the way, all her shows are available on Youtube.

Now this is the first recipe that I tried. And my verdict - I have never before tasted such lipsmacking, flavorful, aromatic and tasty chicken biriyani. Oh the aroma that fills up the room...mmmmm.... One might feel that the quantity of garam masala that she dumps into the chicken biriyani is way tooo much but oh boy...the end result is simply awesome. This is a very rich dish which uses a lot of ghee, but what say , you can indulge once in a while na.

So here I am taking the liberty to write down the recipe on my blog. :)
Click here for the link to the video.

CHICKEN BIRIYANI (Annie’s kitchen)
        Chicken - 1 kg
      Ghee - 3 tbsp/oil and ghee combo
      Onion - 2 cups
      Tomato - 2 big (cut in cubes)
      Greenchilli - 8
      Ginger paste - ¼ cup
      Garlic paste - ¼ cup
      Mint leaves- as required
      Coriander leaves - as required
      Rambha leaves - as required
      Turmeric powder - ¾ tsp
      Chili powder - 1 tsp
      Coriander powder - 2 tsp
      Coconut milk - ½ cup
      Yoghurt - 1 tbsp (or lime juice - 2 tsp)
      Fried onion - ½ cup

Garam masala
      Fennel - 2 heaped tsp
      Star anise - 2 whole
      Cinnamon - 1”
      Cloves- 10
      Cardamom - 12
      Sha jeera - 1/2 tsp
      Kus kus - 1 tsp
      Jathipatri - 1 petal

     1.  Heat ghee in a pan. Add the ginger garlic-green chilli paste.
     2.    Add onion. Saute till translucent
     3.    Add all the powders. Saute till oil separates
     4.    Add the chicken
     5.    Mix well.
     6.    Add the tomato.
     7.    Add all the leaves.
     8. Mix well and add salt to taste.
     9.    Add the fried onion.
     10.    Add ½ cup of coconut milk.
     11. Cover and cook till done.
     1. Cloves - 5 -6
     2. Cardamon - 4-5
     3. Cinnamon - 1"
     4. Ghee - 2 - 3 tbsp
     5. Rice - 4 cups [soaked and drained]
     6. Rambha leaves - a few
     7. Turmeric powder - a pinch [if you want a yellow coloured rice]
     8. Hot water - 8 cups
      Add the cloves, cardamom and cinnamon into a deep pan along with the ghee. 
     Let it crackle. 
     Add the rice and fry well. 
     Add 8 cups of hot water and enough salt. Add a few rambha leaves. Cover and cook.

    1. Coconut pieces - 1/4 cup
    2. Cashew nut - 1/2 cup
    3. Raisins - 1/2 cup
    Fry all of the above in ghee and garnish the biriyani.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Watermelon milkshake

Watermelon - 3 cups
Milk - 2 cups
Dates - 4 [soaked for two hours] or dates syrup - 2 tbsp[according to taste]


Blend all of the above with 1/2 cup of water and enjoy a filling, refreshing drink.

You can add more or less water according to the consistency that you want.
Also you can use cold milk instead of milk at room temperature.


Watermelon - 3 cups
Milk - 2 cups/milkpowder - 4 tbsp
Condensed milk - 2 tbsp
Sugar - as per taste

Foodles noodles

Foodles is from the brand horlicks and they claim that there is no artificial colors or preservatives in it and that it is fortified with iron and calcium.

This time around I wanted to try making it the 'Desi' style. 

The big packet has two set of noodles and two taste maker packets.

Foodles Packet - 1
     Sunflower Oil - 2 tbsp
     Cumin Seeds - ½ tsp
     Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp
     Red Onion - 1 Large
     Green Chili - 3
     Tomato-1 Large
     Ginger garlic paste - 1/4 tsp
     Red Chili Powder - 1/2 tsp
     Coriander Powder-1/2 tsp
     Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
     Garam Masala Powder - 1/4 tsp
     Salt- To Taste
     Coriander Leaves - to garnish
     Carrot - ¼ cup [diced]
     Beans - ¼ cup [chopped]
     Capsicum - 1/2 [chopped] [optional]

In a pan, add the oil, let it heat and add the mustard seeds. When it crackles add the cumin seeds. Next add the onion and saute till translucent. Then add the tomato, green chilli and the ginger garlic paste. Saute really well till the tomato is all mashed up. Add the vegetables, pour about a tablespoon of water, lower the flame and cook till the vegetables are soft. 

Then add the taste maker and mix well. Also add the red chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and the garam masala and saute till the oil separates. 

Add about 4 cups of hot water to the mix and add in the noodles. Cook till they are done.

Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.

The recipe is adapted from

Athapookalams 2017

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