Friday, July 24, 2009

ChocoFrost Chocolate Cake Frosting

Want something besides vanilla frosting for your cake? Try this chocolate flavored frosting from Denise (1986).


  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2-3 tbsp milk
  • 1 cup instant powder milk
  • For Spicy Flavoring, use 1/2 tsp each of cinnamon, nutmeg or cloves, or 1 tbsp grated orange rind, or cut milk powder to 2/3 cup and add 1/3 cup chocolate powder.

  1. Mix butter, honey, vanilla in a bowl and beat until light and fluffy.
  2. Add powdered milk, flavoring and milk gradually while mixing well and keeping the preparation light and fluffy.

This amount of icing should cover a 10" diameter cake. Adjust proportionately for different sized cakes.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Puri is a deep fried Indian flat bread preparation made of wheat often served on special occassions. Various curries or desserts such as kheer, Srikhand, or Aamrus often accompany puri. Halwa and sabji go well with puris also.

Ingredients (Serves 4):
  • 4 cups of wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup besan flour (Gram or Soya flour: optional)
  • 2 tablespoons oil (increase amount for fragile crisp puris)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 teaspoons sugar (for crisp puris)
  • Oil or ghee to fry

  1. Mix all dry ingredients.
  2. Work in oil and knead dough to firm consistency.
  3. Divide dough in to 24 parts and make balls. Apply some oil to keep balls from sticking to each other.
  4. Using a rolling pin, flatten each ball to about 4" circle (puri). Use a drop of oil if needed.
  5. Heat the oil in a frying pan. After the oil is heated, fry each puri as follows:
  6. Details of frying: As soon as each puri is dipped in hot oil, it should be covered with oil. When it comes to the surface, it should swell up; if not, help it by gently pressing with a spatula (zaara) in the oil. Once sufficiently puffed, turn it over and fry till lower side becomes light brown.
  7. Remove from the pan, and put it in a big sieve to drain excess oil.
  8. After 5 minutes, put it in a plate with absorbent paper at the bottom.

The left over puris can be stacked like Pringles and wrapped in foil.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Puran Poli

Puran poli is a flat bread dish popular in central India, particularly Maharashtra and Karnataka. It is similar to paratha with sweet stuffing of jaggery and gram daal.

Ingredients (Serves 2):
For dough

  • 4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • Wheat or rice flour for rolling poli
For Puran
  • 2 cups Chana-daal
  • 2 cups Jaggery
  • 2 tbsp Nutmeg fine fresh powder
  • 6 pod seeds of cardamom, freshly ground
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • Salt (optional)


For making dough
  1. Depending upon the quality of wheat, the amount of water needed will change, so add water gradually while kneading. The final consistency of the dough should be soft, like a cheese spread.
  2. In a bowl, put oil. Add a little more water, and knead dough to make it glutenous. Cover with extra oil and set aside for an hour.
  3. Make 1 inch diameter balls.
For making puran:
  1. In a 2-1/2-Quart saucepan, wash Chana-daal 2 to 3 times, and add 2 cups of water, turmeric, oil.
  2. Start cooking on medium heat.
  3. Remove the foam that forms and keep cooking on medium heat. Add 2 cups of water if want to make "Katachi Aamti" when daal is completely cooked. To check, put one grain in spoon and press with finger tip. Cooked daal will be crushed and feel soft. Note: Steps 1 and 2 are combined if a pressure cooker is used.
  4. Remove excess water and add jaggery. Mix well and while stirring intermittently cook till mixture becomes moist but solid.
  5. Make a smooth paste using food processor or crush it and pass through sieve. Add nutmeg and cardamom. Mix well.
  6. Make 1 inch diameter balls.
For making Puran Poli:
  1. Start heating 10 inch non stick griddle (tawa) on medium heat.
  2. Take a ball of dough. Using your index fingers and thumbs, make a bowl with a small opening out of the ball.
  3. Put the ball of puran in it and slowly cover the puran ball with dough without breaking it. Make a nice ball and press gently. Note: Depending upon the quality of wheat and the stretching capacity of dough, experts put almost double the quantity of puran. For very soft poli, add excess puran; for increased stiffness, reduce the amount of puran.
  4. Use dry flour to cover the ball. Sprinkle some dry flour on the clean, dry surface (use smooth cutting board or Chakalota) and roll the ball in to about 6-8 inches diameter poli.
  5. To remove it from surface without breaking, use an aluminium foil square bigger than the roti and flip the roti on the square supported by one spread out palm.
  6. Immediately flip it onto pre-heated griddle.
  7. When color starts to change and roti becomes little firm, flip using spatula. Brush both sides with oil and cook until both sides develop reddish-brown patches.
  8. Remove from the fire and put on cake rack for 5 minutes to cool.
  9. Serve with ghee and milk.
Puran poli will stay fresh for 2 to 3 days. This dish can also be modified by adding khoya or coconut. Coconut milk can be substituted for plain milk. Areas such as Ratnagiri may opt for coconut milk, whereas dairy producing areas like Gujrat are more likely to use milk.