Friday 30 September 2011

Blog Hop – Mini Kaja

I feel like I am perpetually running these days and always getting late for something or the other. Late for S’s school, my work, to cook dinner, to sleep and so on. Its no wonder then that I am late for posting for the Blog Hop too.

I was paired with Sreevalli of Ammaji Recipes for this week and I had decided on what to make from her blog, long back but things were veru hectic and so everything was delayed. But I here I am finally posting Mini Kaja, an Andhra sweet which seemed so simple to make that I read the recipe 2-3 times before I was convinced.


Mini Kaja



  • 1/2 Cup Plain Flour (Maida)
  • 1 pinch of Baking Soda
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup Yogurt
  • 1 tblsp Ghee (Clarified Butter) + 3 tblsp while rolling
  • 1/4 cup Rice flour
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Cardamom Powder
  • Water
  • Oil for frying


Method: Combine the plain flour, baking soda and the ghee. Use the yogurt to knead all this into a dough. Cover this and let it rest for about 2 hours.

To prepare the sugar syrup, take the sugar in a deep pan, cover it with water and let this come to a boil. Once it starts boiling, reduce the flame and simmer until the syrup almost reaches a one string consistency. Add the cardamom powder this, mix well and switch off the flame.

Heat the oil in a kadai for frying. Divide the dough prepared earlier into 3 equal parts, roll each part to a thickness of about 0.5 cm. Spread 1 tblsp of the ghee on to this and sprinkle some rice flour. Now gently roll this and cut into small strips. Repeat with the remaining 2 parts of the dough and use up the 2 tblsp ghee.

Drop these kajas into the hot oil and fry ona  medium flame until they turn brown and crispy. Drain them on to a kitchen towel and after 1-2 minutes, drop them into the prepared sugar syrup. Keep them soaked for about 15 minutes before transferring to an air tight container for storage.

My  Notes: As is evident, it is quite simple to make but the end result is addictively delicious. We couldnt stop munching them even though I am not too fond of sweet things!

Thursday 15 September 2011

Tomato Onion Bonda

As expected I am back on a Wednesday for the Blog Hop of course. This time however I nearly missed the train.

We are slowly coming out of the Holiday mood and settling in the school routine. Although we had everything arranged and ready for the start of school, I am still running around arranging for things as & when the necessity pops up. So nowadays it is just chatting with other mums about the school, while dropping the kids & picking them up and making sure that S gets into regular routine everyday so that she will be fine when the school starts full day for her. As this takes up all my time & mind space, I am wondering what it will be like, once I get back to work in another fortnight!

As usual I left it for the last minute without realising that there was some work to be done in the kitchen during this week and so I ended up being one day late for this post. But as the well used saying goes ‘Better late than never’!

For this week’s Blog Hop I was paired with Priya of Now Serving. She has a very interesting mix of recipes on her blog but this one immediately caught my attention because first of all I had never used chopped Tomatoes in a Bonda or anything fried for that matter and the combination of onion & tomato is a personal favourite. The other reason was that it was very simple and quick to make.

Tomato Onion Bonda




  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 2 Tomatoes, chopped
  • A handful of fresh coriander leaves, chopped
  • Salt
  • 1 Tsp Chilli Powder
  • a pinch of Hing (Asafoetida)
  • About 3/4 cup Rice Flour (Adjust as required)
  • Oil for frying


Method: Combine the chopped onion, tomatoes & coriander leaves in a bowl. Add the salt, chilli powder & Hing and mix well, mashing with the back of the spoon.

Once the mixture lets out water, add the rice flour and mix without adding any water if possible. Although the original recipe says that no water is to be added, I had to add a few drops to enable me to shape them into balls.

Heat the oil in a deep pan. Once the oil is hot, drop the balls in it and fry on medium flame till they start to turn brown and turn crisp.

Drain and serve hot with Ketchup & Green Chutney.

My Notes: This reminded me of the Akki Rotti that we used to make at home (specially at my friend N’s place). as expected the combination of onion & tomato was delicious. The Bondas were totally crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. We need to make sure to fry them on a medium flame so that they are cooked well on the inside. A very quick & easy recipe for those evening snack cravings and also when unexpected guests drop in!

Wednesday 7 September 2011

Chocolate Almond Biscotti

Its time for the Sweet Punch and this month’s challenge was Chocolate Almond Biscotti from Joy of Baking.

But before I move on to that, let me tell you a little about our weekend excursion to the ‘Chocolate Factory’, well, Cadbury World to be precise since the visit to the factory was just a part of the whole experience. We went on a Saturday and reached there after a long drive of more than 2 hours, but it was totally worth it. Being a complete chocolate lover I was more excited than little S, more so because I had a very good excuse to eat as many chocolates as I wanted on the day. How can you restrict eating chocolates when you go to a chocolate factory. So in short I had my fill without feeling guilty at all, collected some more to bring back home and generally had a great ‘chocolatey’ time and brought back this mug to motivate S to drink up her milk!

Coming back to the challenge, as usual I made it on the last day, hoping all the time that I dont make any mistakes as I didn't have enough time to make it again. Thankfully everything worked out fine. This was my second experience with a Biscotti and it made me wonder why I dont make them often as they are very easy to make, take very little time & preparations and have very little room for going wrong.

Chocolate Almond Biscotti



Makes about 12-15


  • 1 3/4 cup plain flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup blanched almonds
  • 110 gm Chocolate, coarsely chopped (or chocolate chips)


Pre heat the oven to 180 deg C (160 deg for an electric fan assisted oven). Line a baking sheet with baking paper.

Sieve together the flour, baking powder and salt and keep aside. Roast the almonds and chop them coarsely (you can pulse them in a grinder but make sure they are not powdered).

In a bowl, combine the eggs and the sugar and beat with an electric mixer until the mixture turns pale & fluffy. It should leave a trail when you lift the mixer.

Add the flour mixture to this and mix well. Add the almonds & chocolate and fold in.

Transfer this dough to the baking sheet and shape it into a log (roughly) and bake this in the pre heated oven for about 20-25 minutes.

Transfer the cooked log on to a wire rack and let it cool for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile turn down the oven temperature to 165 deg C (145 deg for an electric fan assisted oven).


Cut the log into slices (about an inch thick) and place them on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove the sheet from oven and turn the biscotti the other way and bake for another 10 min until they start turning brown.

Remove on to the wire rack and cool them completely.

My Notes: I used Dark chocolate and followed the exact recipe otherwise. The Biscotti that I got felt very much like the ‘Rusk’ we used to have with the tea, so I guess I got a good result, as Biscotti (singular:Biscotto) is the Italian version of the Rusk!