Thursday, August 21, 2008

Walnut toffee!

I tried this recipe once and it came out well. Here, in India, during the Navrathri pooja season, we get boxes of nuts as gifts. We can collect the walnuts from them and try this!!!

  • 10 whole walnuts - without shells
  • 100 gms sugar
  • 1 tsp. butter

Take the sugar in a small kadai and fry without water in a slow fire. Keep on stirring and the sugar will start melting slowly and turn brown in colour. Sugar caramel is ready now. Add the butter and stir for a few seconds. I like to add a pinch of salt also - salt enhances the taste of sweets! Some people do not like to add salt. Both ways are good. Switch off the fire.

Take the walnuts and dip in the caramel, one by one, with the help of a tooth pick. We should finish doing this when the caramel is hot. Line up in a greased plate. Let it cool down.

We can break the walnut into two halves and make two toffees in one nut too! Walnut has got a slight bitter taste. When it is coated with caramel, it tastes yummy!

We can try this with ghee roasted cashew nuts too! Children will love these toffees, I guarantee!!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Ginger-lemon Sharbath - 100% health drink!

This sharbath is my aunt's recipe. When I was young, I used to go to Mangalore to her place in the holidays. She is a very good cook and loved to feed people with different varieties of snacks, juices etc. Her house is very near to the Mangalore bus terminus and the railway station and our relatives from Madras or any other place, while visiting Mangalore or Udupi, first went to her place, chat with her, fill their stomach (literally!) and then leave. She remembered everybody's favorite dishes and prepared them whole heartedly. She used to make different types of sharbaths for the 11 am drink, which was served everyday! We love you, Chikkamma!

Now, the recipe:


  • 100 gms. raw ginger
  • 2 cups lemon juice
  • 3-4 cups jaggery or palm sugar
  • 1 tsp. kaala namak (Black salt)


Clean the ginger and grind it in a mixer with some water. Filter it into a vessel, add some more water and grind and strain again. You can use 1-2 cups of water. Leave it like that for half an hour. The sediment will settle down. We have to use only the plain water for the sharbath.

Squeeze the cleaned lemons, after removing the seeds, with a squeezer, in a vessel. Normally, we add jaggery, twice the measure of lemon juice.

Mash the jaggery or palm sugar, add a cup of water and boil it for 5 mts. After the jaggery dissolves, filter it and put it back on the stove. The sand should be filtered. Let it boil for another 5 mts. It can be slightly syrupy. See to it that it doesn't thicken. Keep this aside.

Now pour the ginger water in a big vessel and bring it to a boil. Add the jaggery water. Add the kaala namak powder. Bring it to a boil. Switch off the stove and let it cool. Now, pour the lemon juice into it and mix for a minute. Your sharbath is ready now!

You can pour quarter measure of a glass of juice and add water and stir and serve!

P.S.: You can reduce the quantity of jaggery a little and add a tablespoon of honey, while mixing the sharbath. The 100% health drink is ready. Store the concentrated juice in the fridge. No need to add citric acid, if you are going to keep it in the fridge.

If you have a soda maker with you, add soda water and the children will love it! No more colas!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Papaya Bread!

I baked this bread last Sunday and it was quite easy and very tasty! Want to give a try? Here, have the recipe:

Preparation time: 2 hours 45 mts.

For making one loaf, you need the following ingredients:

  1. 1 cup shredded firm papaya
  2. 1/2 cup butter or Margarine, softened
  3. 1 cup sugar
  4. 2 eggs
  5. 1 1/2 cups a purpose flour (Maida)
  6. 1 tsp.baking Powder
  7. 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  8. 1/2 tsp. salt
  9. 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  10. 1/2 tsp. ground allspice (I did not have this, so did without this, still, tasty!)
  11. 1/2 tsp. ground Ginger
  12. 1/2 cup raisins
  13. 1/4 cup chopped walnut or cashew

  1. Drain Papaya on paper towels.
  2. Cream butter in a mixing bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed.
  3. Gradually add sugar, beating well.
  4. Add eggs or the flax meal mixture.
  5. In another bowl, mix together the flour and all the other ingredients. Mix for 3 mts.
  6. Stir in papaya, raisins and walnuts.
  7. Spoon batter into a greased and floured 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan.
  8. Bake in a pre-heated oven (350 F / 180 C) for 1 hour and 10 mts or until done.
  9. Let cool in the pan for 10 mts. Remove and cool it completely on a wire rack.
P.S.: If you don't want to use eggs, use this mixture:
Grind in a mixer, 4 tbsp. of flaxmeal (flax seeds) and add 1/4 tsp. baking powder, 6 tbsp.water and add to the bread dough.

We can make banana bread also in this method!