Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Raspberry-Banana Smoothie

Breakfast smoothies are the best because you can whip them up in a jiffy and they fill you up too :)

Here is our recipe for a delicious Raspberry-banana smoothie :

10-12 raspberries
1 medium banana
4 tbsp of yogurt
Half a glass of milk
2 tsp sugar (optional)
Ice (optional: not needed if ingredients are cold)

Blend it all together and enjoy ;)

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Nutella Fantasy cookies

This a really simple recipe for a really amazing cookie. Very recently, it was World Nutella day and since I'm a really big fan of nutella and anything that has hazelnut in it, I decided to make these moreish, gooey biscuits.
Be prepared for your house to smell of heavenly gorgeous chocolate biscuits. You can tweak this as per your requirement by even adding some chocolate chips into it. I decided not to . 
Children will love it, since its that magical surprise in the middle. you can also freeze this dough for months and make it as and when you want to . 

( makes about 20 cookies) 
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup Cocoa powder ( Cadbury)
1/2 cup nutella
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a stand or electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, continue to beat until well combined.
2. Place the sifted flour, cocoa powder and baking soda into a bowl; mix to combine then add slowly to wet ingredients ( the dough must look like chapati atta and must be smooth)
3. Scoop a large spoonful of dough and flatten it into the palm of your hand. Add in some nutella into the middle, about 1-2 tsp. Then fold cookie dough back up so that it seals and covers the nutella entirely.

4. Bake for about 10-14 minutes or until the cookies feel slightly firm on the sides and squidgy on top. (Be careful while checking as they can be hot. check by tapping a spatula on top of the cookie.if you can hear the tapping sound its done. if not keep it in the oven for another 2 minutes ) 
Remove and let cool for a few minutes before serving.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Honey Raisin Oatmeal Cookies

V had  to go to the airport to pick up a relative, late one night  and since I wasn't sleepy I decided to make these yummy cookies :)
Sometimes I'm an owl and sleep doesn't come very easily when I have something on my mind.. Hence i decided to make a batch of these at 11 pm...
Oh, how wonderful the house smelt after these babies came out of the oven... Here is my recipe of this classic recipe.. ( everyone has their own recipe, so you can adjust/add/minus, any ingredient you wish to, without altering the basic recipe )


  • 1/2 cup - butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/2 cup - granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup - honey
  • 1 large - egg
  • 1 teaspoon - vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups - quick cooking rolled oats
  • 1 cup - whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon - salt
  • 1 teaspoon - ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon - baking soda
  • 1 cup - raisins, chocolate or butterscotch chips


    In medium bowl, beat butter with sugar until thoroughly blended. Blend in honey. Blend in egg and vanilla, mixing until smooth. In separate bowl, mix together oats, flour, salt, cinnamon and baking soda; blend into honey mixture. Blend in raisins or chips. Drop dough by rounded Tablespoonfuls onto greased baking sheet. Bake at 180°C for 12 to 14 minutes until cookies are golden brown. Remove from oven and allow cookies to cool 2 to 3 minutes before removing from baking sheet. Cool completely then store in an airtight container.


    High altitude adjustment: Increase oats to 2 cups and decrease whole wheat flour to 3/4 cup.

Irish soda bread

It appears everyone has their favorite Irish soda bread recipe. Some with olives, some with raisins, some with both, some with neither. The essential ingredients in a traditional Irish soda bread are flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk. The acid in buttermilk reacts with the base of the baking soda to provide the bread’s leavening.
Its been an all time favorite in our household. Its really quick to make and doesn't require any proving time.. 
Soda bread dries out quickly so is only good for a day or two. It is best eaten freshly baked and warm or toasted.

Here is a simple recipe that I use.. 

Ingredients :
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp Italian Seasoning ( I used the Pre- mix that comes in the market)
1 cup chopped black olives
21/4 cups buttermilk

Before going into the oven
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Lightly oil a large baking sheet using olive oil or cooking spray. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a large mixing bowl. Add the italian seasoning and chopped olives and stir well to combine.
  2. Create a well in the center of the flour mixture. Pour the buttermilk into the well. Stir the buttermilk into the flour mixture, starting in the center and working your way to the outside of the bowl until a dough forms. If needed, add additional buttermilk (1 tablespoon at a time) to form the dough.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly-floured surface and knead for 1 minute. Form a large disc out of the dough. Cut the dough in half with a knife and with floured hands, form two small discs out of the dough.( or you can make it one large loaf like i did) ... Using a serrated knife, cut a ¼-inch deep square or X into each disc of dough.
  4. Place both discs of dough on the lightly-oiled baking sheet. Be sure to place the discs far apart, as they will rise while baking. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and bread tests clean when poked with a knife. Remove from the oven and allow bread to cool at least 20 minutes before slicing!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

ZayZafoon : A Middle Eastern culinary journey

Last week, we were invited to the grand opening of this brand new restaurant that goes by the name of ZayZafoon, and located at the Bawabat Al Sharq mall in Mafraq. The name was intriguing enough and we were more than curious already.

The ambience is very subtle and resonates an old-world traditional Arabic charm. The restaurant was suitably decorated for their opening and as we entered, we could already hear the strains of soft Arabic music; an orchestra setting up to play for us.

My husband and I both love Arabic food and since there are sufficient vegetarian varieties as well, we always eat to our heart's content. When eaten in moderation, Arabic food can be very light on the stomach because there is plenty of heart healthy olive oil that is used. Another advantage is that the vegetables are left in their raw form and some healthy ways of cooking are implemented such as steaming and grilling.

The appetizer course was already laid out on our table with warm and fluffy Arabic bread to accompany. Tabbouleh, Hummus, Fattoush, Moutabel, a dish with chickpeas and a delicious garlic dip - these were a few.

The food was very flavourful and extremely well presented, pleasing to the eye. There were a few more appetizers on offer, of which I had not clicked a picture. Kibbeh, cheese spring rolls, Arabic sambousek - these were tasty too though the spring roll was a tad dry and rubbery. They had main courses of fish and lamb, both of which we had to decline because as I said we are vegetarian and sadly they didn't have a vegetarian main course.

We were awaiting the desserts but even after 15 or 20 minutes of setting the plates, there was no sign of it. We noticed that people around us were starting to leave, or head towards the outdoor sheesha place; so we thought there would have been some logistical issues. We were quite looking forward to savouring some dessert though.

All in all, it was a nice experience and we do recommend that you hop on to this exclusive restaurant to taste a bit of Arabia and sink into the experience.

Bon appetit !

- Urmila -


Saturday, November 30, 2013

Garlic Pull Apart Rolls

I think I have been looking longingly at this recipe for more than a year now, tempted to make it but somehow put off by the process and basically worried about how I would handle the yeast.

Yesterday I thought to myself that no more procrastinating, and unless I tried my hand at it how would I ever know, right? So I set off rightaway, armed with my ingredients! Firstly, it was much easier than I imagined. The dough behaved and even tastewise I was happy with the result :)

I will mention at the outset that I have referred to many recipes but ended up adapting it to my taste and preferences. So the below recipe, is really mine :D

Ingredients for the dough:

1.5 cups of flour (I used normal chapati atta, whole wheat)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1.5 tbsp of yeast (active dry yeast)
1 cup warm water (not hot, just warm)
1 tsp of baking powder ( this is only just in case you are worried the flour won't behave, as it's not self raising i.e maida)
Olive oil, as needed
4 tbsp of milk

Ingredients for the garlic filling:

4 cloves of garlic - finely crushed
Butter or mayo - as per preference
Finely chopped coriander leaves


Mix all dry ingredients together (yes, including the yeast). Now add warm water and knead into a soft dough. Add a touch of olive oil as and when needed but make sure the dough isn't too oily. Now cover with clingfilm and set aside in a warm environment for around 45 minutes so that the yeast can work its wonder and the dough will double in size.

Meanwhile, combine well all ingredients for the garlic filling together and set aside. Grease a small loaf pan and set aside too

After 45 minutes to an hour, take the dough and punch the air from inside by knocking it. Divide into two parts. Take one part and spread it on a floured surface and roll into a semi-thick rectangle. Now spread half the quantity of the garlic mixture thoroughly to cover the rectangle. Roll it from one end to another (via the length) and cut into four parts. Preheat your oven to 180C (Mine is a convection so I heated it to 200C).

Place the rolls with the cut size up, into a loaf pan. Brush the rolls lightly with milk. Repeat this procedure with the other half of the dough (rolling out, applying filling and rolling in again to cut up into parts).

Bake for around 35 minutes, until the top part of the rolls appear to brown and the rolls feel like bread. Serve with your choice of a side, I just sauteed some potatoes to add to the flavour ;) Enjoy!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Trifle Pudding (Part two)

Part one of the Trifle Pudding was shared here by me

This time around, I added a few ingredients and that really altered the taste. Let me now share the new recipe with you guys :)


Sponge cake and a few teaspoons of fruit juice to moisten it.
Milk chocolate bar (any brand - I used Cadbury)
Sliced bananas
Half a tin of Nestle condensed milk (1 tin is usually 390g)
Half a cup of vanilla custard
A few tablespoons of nutella
A small tin of nestle cream
Peach slices (fresh or canned) - I used the canned ones and they were really yum


I used a deep dish glass casserole dish to create the pudding in, because it is just perfect. So first, start off by slicing the sponge cake in 3 medium-thick layers. Moisten the layers of sponge with a few teaspoons of fruit juice.  On the bottom layer, melt small pieces of the milk chocolate and place gently at the bottom of your deep dish glass casserole. Now pour condensed milk thinly over this and arrange the banana slices over the condensed milk. Now spread Nutella on the other 2 layers of sponge cake. Place one layer over the banana slices and cover with vanilla custard. Place the other layer of nutella sponge (prepared in the step before) and cover with Nestle cream. Now arrange the peach slices over it to garnish the dessert.


The most important part is this dessert needs to be prepared at least 24 hours in advance so that the layers can set together and that's what makes it really tasty :)