Carrot cakes were never my favourite until I tasted this cake. It was love at first sight when I saw this cake here. Since, eggs are a no-no in our family I substituted them with mashed bananas. The final result gave me a sense of achievement I have never felt in a long time. The carrot, the orange and the ginger along with the white chocolate icing gave my tastebuds a pleasure unknown till then.

You can find the original recipe here.

I have followed Sweetapolita’s recipe to the T except for substituting the eggs with mashed ripe bananas. And I quartered the ingredients and baked twice with the quartered ingredients  in a 6″ pan.

1 egg = 1/4 cup of mashed /pureed ripe banans + 1/2 tsp of baking powder plus a a little more than a pinch of baking soda.

I can definitely say that this is a must try cake if not for anything atleast for the zing it gives.

Sometimes in life, you meet someone who influences and inspires you to do things which would otherwise be in the “to-do” list. Forever. One such person in my life is Anita Menon. Baking and blogging would have been in my to-do list had it not been for her motivation.

Thank you, Anu for being there. Though its been just a few months but you have been a wonderful friend…and I hope we continue to be…

Happy Birthday, Anita!!! Wishing you a great year ahead!!!!!

The whole nation is still celebrating India’s  World Cup win. A lot is being said and written about the team, team members, the captain and anything even remotely connected to the 15 members of the winning team. One feature which the print, the electronic and the online media have lapped up is the way in which Mahendra Singh Dhoni has steered the team throughout the tournament ultimately leading it to victory. Every management consultant worth his salt is coming out with articles titled, “what the politicians should learn from Dhoni”, “what the corporates should learn from Dhoni” and “what XYZ group of people should learn  from Dhoni”…

All said and done, one has to admit that Dhoni is perhaps the best man to lead the Indian Cricket Team. My interest in cricket waxed and waned according to the performances of our men in blue. But after the 2007 World Cup fiasco I hit an all time low in following cricket. Subsequently, my newly married life and arrival of  my son took precedence over my hobbies which included following cricket. There was a time when I could reel off statistics about the cricket players but with new priorities I hardly had the time to know about the newfaces in the team. I guess I am meandering here…the post is supposed to be about Dhoni :-)

The things that caught my attention in Dhoni was a.) his long locks b.) his initial centuries of 148 & 183 against Pakistan & Srilanka and c.) his drinking of one litre of milk per day….

Then the ICC World Twenty20 2007 happened. Dhoni captained the Indian team and I fell head over heels in love with him after the win against Pakistan in the league match through the bowl -out method. I used to hang on to every word of his during post match presentation and press conferences. His speech during the felicitation in Mumbai was awesome to say the least and it was in Hindi.

Subsequently, he was also made the captain for the ODI team and now he led the team to win the World cup in the 50 over edition  of the game. Over these 4 years he has gone from strength to strength learning on the job to reach where he is today. One refreshing thing about his captaincy is he is not emotional and expressive( remember Dada taking his shirt off), inarticulate( can anyone decipher what Azhar bhai used to mumble in his press conferences) and has a very firm head on his shoulders. He does not have an aura surrounding him as with Sachin and from what I have read he is very approachable. He talks straight and makes sure he gets his point across. He had this to say to the big hitters after the loss to South Africa, “You dont play for the crowd , you play for the country” and this to Gambhir after the finals,” It is his (Gambhir’s fault) that he failed to score a century”. Now, how many earlier captains have spoken like this and the team mates have accepted. He takes responsibility for the losses and doesnt involve in blame game. Replying to Ravi Shastri‘s query on his promotion up the batting order during the presentation ceremony after the finals, he said ” I had to protect Yuvi from the spinners”. He has had his own share of criticisms but then he stood by his decisions and gave a lot of confidence to people like Ashish Nehra , Piyush Chawla. He carries the team with him and involves them in the decision making process.

Coming from a humble background, he has reached where he is through sheer hardwork  and dedication. Above all, he seems to be a man of his word ‘coz how many times you see a captain known for his locks to shave off his head the very next day as promised to his deity?

I hope and pray that he continues to be the way he is and bring more glories to the nation…..


Way to go, Mahi!!!!!!!!


Starting this post with my gift to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 Champions:

April 2, 2011. A date no Indian would forget in a hurry. I was waiting with bated breath to watch the finals of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 between the men in blue and the men in a darker shade of blue. The whole of Facebook was screaming about bleeding blue. Usually I am terrified of blood and bleeding as such, but this was an exception. :-).  True to my superstition ( I am not ashamed to admit it..:-))I didnt watch  rather follow the match ( I dont get the channels here) on ESPNcricinfo for the first hour. My anxiety started during the final overs of the Srilankan innings and it ended only with the final sixer  which Mahi hoisted for the winning runs.

This ofcourse called for a celebration and a reason for me to bake. I had bookmarked this recipe from some time back and I thought this would be the perfect occasion for actually m(b)aking it. Also, anything so chocolatey will be the perfect way to celebrate such a momentous occasion.

The original recipe can be found here. I made 3 changes in the recipe:

  1. a. In place of 3 large eggs, I had used 4 tsps of flaxseed powder mixed in 1 cup of water
  2. Since I did not have semi sweet chocolate chips, I had added chopped dark chocolate.
  3. Instead of 3/4 tsp. of instant espresso powder, I had used 1 tsp of . 3-in-1 coffee powder which included coffe sugar nad cream powder, mainly because thats what I had in terms of coffee


3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. good quality cocoa powder (the darker the better)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
1 tsp. 3-in-1 coffee powder
5 ounces semisweet chocolate bar, finely chopped
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
4 tsps. of flaxseed powder mixed in 1 cup of water
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 cup of choppewd dark chocolate

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8×8-inch pan. Line with parchment paper and let it hang over two sides. Butter the parchment.
  2. Mix the flaxseed powder and water and add vanilla essence to it. Keep aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, and salt; set aside.
  4. In a large saucepan, combine butter and espresso powder. Heat on low and stir until butter has melted. Add chocolate, and stir constantly until mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and stir in both sugars until combined. Let cool slightly.
  5. Mix the  flaxseed to the flour mixture and then  add the chocolate batter. Stir just until combined.
  6. Stir in chocolate chips.
  7. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  8. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a just a few moist crumbs attached (40 minutes).  Let cool completely. Cut into pieces and serve or store.

Since the batter was a bit runny for brownies, I had to keep for 40 minutes  as against 30 mts in the original recipe.  Since the bottom portion was not baked , I kept it on high for 5 minutes in the microwave.

Dedicated to Team India... !!!

Dedicated to the men in blue…Thanks guys, for lighting up a billion faces!!!!!

I would like send this to the Best Brownie event hosted by Divya celebrating her 3rd bloggiversary:

This is the first of the Muft ka Gyaan series from me.

We make friends quite unassumingly and they last for  a life time. We have a bonding with our siblings and they last for a lifetime.  The best part is we never have to try too hard for these relationships to work. But when it comes to spouses many of us flounder. We try so many things to impress the partner and are upset with the slightest of disappointments. Ever wondered why?

Thats because with marriage comes new responsibilities, new relations and above all, expectations.

In the Indian scenario, marriages are of two types – Arranged Marriage and Love Marriage (though the difference is blurring now-a-days). I am not getting into the difference now but the reason I pointed this out is because Love or Arranged , the expectations from a wife /husband remains the same for husband/wife.

One fine weekend afternoon, when I had nothing else to do(thanks to a tiff between the mister and myself), all of whatever I had written above was going through my mind. The tiff was sorted out in the evening and all was hunky – dory again. But at night , as sleep was evading me , my mind went back to the afternoon musings.

As I look back on my nearly 3 years of marriage, I find that the FEAST principle has helped me immensely in dealing with this new relationship.Experience in marriage can never be classified as beginner, Intermediate or advanced, since it is a continuous learning process.

So , here is my 2-cents worth FEAST Principle.

a. Be FRIENDS with your partners. When you are friends with your partner the communication becomes easier and in case of arranged marriages the protocol slowly disappears

b. Always EXPRESS your feelings. This doesnt have to be declaring your affections in public.Tell your partner how much he /she means to you and more importantly make your partner feel wanted and how important he/she is in your life.

c. ACCEPT your partner as they are. Nobody is perfect and no two persons are the same. Accept your partner with all the imperfections he/she might have.

d. Surprise your partner. No. I dont mean the nasty kinds of surprises but the pleasant ones. Everyone loves pleasant surprises and dont wait for an occasion to surprise your partner. Surprises dont have to be gifts or dining out but it can be doing something minute which will give your partner happiness.

e. TRUST. TIME. TALK. Trust your partner. Talk to each other and have some alone time always. Spending some time alone with each other will cement the relationship.

Wishing you a long lasting relationship!!!!!!!!

Hi all,

Its been a month since my last post and now I am back with a recipe. This is the recipe of a snack popular in Palakkad. Its called Ammani Kozhakattai and I have named it as Spicy steamed Rice balls..:)..Not very creative but chalta hai.. Its pretty simple to make and it can double up as starters also.

So, here are the ingredients

1. 1 cup basmati rice

2. 2 tablespoons of coconut chopped into small pieces

3. 1 tablespoon oil


For the seasoning:

1. 1/2 tsp mustard seeds

2. 1 tsp urad dal

3. 2 dry red chillies

4. 2 tsp oil


1. Soak the rice in water for 2 hours. Then grind it in a mixie to a pouring consistency

2. Take a tablepoon of oil in a kadai, pour the batter along with the coconut pieces and start stirring.

3. Keep stirring continuously till the batter comes to a dough consistency

4. Take the kadai off the stove and let it cool for 5- 10 mts

5. Now , make small marble sized balls from the dough

6. Steam the balls for 15 mts.

7. Season with mustard , urad dal and dry red chillies and mix well.

The final outcome:

"Spicy Steamed Rice Balls"


As a matter of principle, I don’t discuss politics in public, but the happenings in Kashmir are so disturbing that I had to write this. I dont know the intricacies involved in the issue….but the CM of an Indian State issuing a statement against hoisting a Tricolour in Srinagar is a bit hard to digest… I have never understood the special treatment meted out to the state. I came across it for the first time during my graduate days while studying Income Tax. The rules specified always carried a clause among others which goes like this..”this applies to all states except for the state of Jammu & Kashmir”. Then again when my mom worked in the AIR , she told me that in J&K, it was always Radio Kashmir and never All India Radio. And above all, Article 370 granting special status to the state.

Over indulgence and ignorance are the causes for the present  indifference of the people in J&K and the N-E towards the essence of “being Indian.”

If only the constitution allowed that people from other states could buy property in J&K, the state would have had a mixed population and that will inculcate a spirit of belonging to the people of J&K. At the same time, development activities should be undertaken in the N-E state and they should also be made cosmopolitan.

I dont know if what I have written makes sense at all..but I had these thoughts running in my mind since yesterday. I want the Indian map to be the same for the future generation as the one which is prevalent today.

Wishing everyone  a happy Republic Day !!!! Jai Hind!!


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