Merry Christmas!!!

To all my wonderful readers, I’d like to take a moment while we prepare to go to Church this Christmas eve, to wish each and every one of you and your families a Merry Christmas and a Blessed Holiday Season!

For those of you who still have most of the 24th of December at your disposal and would still like to whip up some lovely homemade treats for the cookie platter, I have great news. You can still do it. One quick roundup of ingredients and a little time for each of these treats, and you’ll end up looking like a superstar with a variety of homemade treats to share with your family and friends. Here are a few such treats which are sure to please –

1) Candied Spiced Nuts

6) Coconut Laddoos

8) Chocolate Pistachio Fudge

SRC: Buttermilk French Toast

I’m excited to share with you, my SRC assignment for this month. I had the wonderful Kate, who authors Food Babbles, a ridiculously delicious blog. Kate has so many wonderful recipes on her blog and that made it really hard to pick one for this months reveal. I was torn between so many treats, but not having access to an oven at the moment, helped me narrow my options down. I went with something I knew I’d love, a delicious breakfast treat, Buttermilk French Toast. I have made French toast before but never with buttermilk and I was curious. Now only recently I got to experience first hand the kind of magic buttermilk does with pancakes and I was very eager to see what it would do to French Toast.

And I was right, these slices turned out really good. There is a depth of flavor with a mild tang that you can get only by using buttermilk. This was Sunday breakfast for us and we thoroughly enjoyed it. I stuck to the recipe for most of it, except I used regular sliced bread instead of the challah bread and I left out the ground cinnamon, not because I have anything against it, but because I forgot to pick it up at the store 🙁  Despite that, the French Toast was fantastic and I’m sure I’ll be making this yummy breakfast treat often. ‘Thanks Kate, for a delicious take on one of my favorite breakfast treats. I know I’ll be back to try out more of the treats on your blog’.
Buttermilk French Toast
(Yields 8-10 slices)
1 cup buttermilk, shaken well 
4 eggs
2 tsp sugar
A pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla essence
8-10 slices of bread
A little butter for frying
Beat the buttermilk, eggs, salt, sugar and essence well to combine.
Heat a skillet or griddle.
Dip the slices of bread in the batter one at a time, letting it soak in some of the batter and flip the slice over to repeat on the other side. Take care to not leave the slice in the batter for too long, else it will get too soggy and break apart when you try to get it to the pan.
Butter the griddle lightly for frying. 
Carefully, place the slice onto the pan and cook until lightly browned (or to your liking) on both sides.
Drizzle some honey over it and enjoy.


Happy Diwali!!!

Happy Diwali everyone! Hope you guys had a lovely time with your near and dear ones.

Incase you have a pending festive get-together coming up and are looking for ideas that are both quick and easy for a Diwali treat, I’ve put together a little list for you. These ideas are just the tip of the ice-berg. There are so many possibilities that I’d like to try out. Lets see how many more I can try out out before next Diwali comes around. But until then, here’s something to get you started with these treats. Beginning with something savory – 
… and moving on to something sweet –

These recipes have been linked up with –
Diwali Bash 2013 @ Cooks Joy

Diwali Delicacies @ Spicy Treats and Priya’s Versatile Recipes

SRC: Pots de Creme

This month happened to fly by me. I almost missed my posting date for the SRC reveal this month …. Almost! But thanks to the reminder from Jane, our lovely hostess, I was done with more than a few hours to spare. It would’ve been a crying shame if I’d missed it, considering that I’ve been so excited all month with this months assignment. I was hooked up with Camilla’s blog, Culinary Adventures with Camilla. I’ve been a fan of Cam’s blog for a few years. I’ve always admired her sense of adventure with food. For those of you who haven’t visited her blog, please go on over and show her some love. She has this amazing series ‘Cooking Around the World’, in which she has cooked some amazing food from so many different parts of the world, while helping her boys (who make regular appearances in her posts) and folks like me that read her blog, learn so much about these countries. Now that is what I called culinary adventures, true to the blogs name. Camilla is so very talented and I really wanted to make something special. So after some amount of looking around, I realized that so very many of her yummy recipes required an oven, which I don’t have access to. So that helped me narrow down my options and I finally decided to try out her Pots de Creme recipe.

I knew it was the right pick for me because it originally is a Pioneer Woman recipe, another favorite of mine. I’ve been following Ree’s blog for so long now. I’ve spent many hours drooling over her recipes and pictures, yet, had never tried out any of her recipes. This seemed like the perfect opportunity. I stuck with Cam’s version which has a slight deviation from the original, but made perfect sense to me. So here’s how it turned out. I halved the recipe, since it was just for the 2 of us and we didn’t want to overindulge.

The process was fairly simple and didn’t call for too many ingredients. I had everything on hand except for the  cream. After picking it up from the store, the rest was really quick and easy. Waiting for it to set is the hard part. I’ve had my puddings in the fridge for about 4 hours and it seems to be setting, I just think it will take a while longer. That being said, we can now move on to the taste. This was, how should I put it, YUM, I made a little portion for me to try and it was hard to put down. If it sets I’ll have an amazing pudding. If not, I’ll have an amazing milk shake. I’ll be very happy either ways. Maybe the setting time is a little longer since I used thickened cream instead of heavy cream since thats what we get here. Next time I’ll try double cream and see how it works. But you chocolate lovers out there, yes you, you have to try this. You’ll be really glad you did.

Pots de Creme

6 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 oz. very strong coffee
1/2 cup thickened cream
1 tbsp sugar

Heat the cream and the sugar in a saucepan. When the sugar dissolved and bubbles start to form, but before the cream comes to a boil, take the pan off the heat.

Tip in the chocolate and let it stand for a couple of minutes.

Stir together till the chocolate has mixed with the cream and is nice and glossy.

Whisk the eggs and vanilla together.

When the cream has cooled off a little add the coffee and the whisked eggs, whisking the mix as you add it, to avoid scrambling the eggs.

Pour into pretty little bowls, glasses or anything you’d like, really.

Refrigerate for 2-3 hours or till set.



Zucchini Fritters


Watch the recipe video here –

This recipe has quickly become one of my absolute favorites. Its a funny story,until a couple of months ago, I didn’t really care much for Zucchini. They aren’t easily available in Mumbai but I’d had it as a side dish at a couple of restaurants and every single time, I personally found it revolting. I couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about in blogland. I saw so many blog posts with so many absolutely delicious recipes, I figured it was just me, something I didn’t like and was going to have to live with it. Again, this was hard for me to understand, because there aren’t too many things that I don’t like. Anyway, life went on. And then when I moved to Sydney, my aunt invited us to spend the day with them at their place in Woy Woy. At dinner, one of the sides that my uncle whipped up was a simple veg. stir fry, which had zucchini in it and you know what, I loved it, much to my surprise. I wanted to make sure it wasn’t a one off thing, so I decided to try my hand at cooking it myself.

After a few minutes online, I had found a recipe I knew would be nice. I bought some zucchini from my favorite Paddy’s market (Haymarket). I had the rest of the ingredients on hand. This recipe is fairly quick to put together, apart from hand grating the zucchini. If you have a food processor that can do the job for you, go for it. Nothing like saving time and effort. Its simple and quick to put the batter together and then all you do is fry it up. Within a short while, you will be sitting down to some pretty amazing fritters. My husband and I love these little guys so much, I’ve made them thrice already. And trust me, I can see myself making these fritters many more times to come. Try it out for yourself and see how good these are.

Zucchini Fritters

2 medium zucchini
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 chilly, finely chopped
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup grated cheese
1 egg
2 tbsp. fresh coriander, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. dried oregano leaves
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup of bread crumbs, approx
2-4 tbsp olive oil

Grate the zucchini coarsely. Sprinkle a little salt (about 1/4 tsp.) over it and let it stand for about 10 minutes. The salt will draw out all the excess liquid. Place in a colander and squeeze to drain out as much excess liquid as possible.

Place the grated zucchini in a bowl. Add the onion, chilly, flour, cheese, salt, coriander, oregano and bread crumbs. Whisk the egg and add to the batter. Mix all the ingredients together. If the batter is to wet, add a tbsp or 2 of bread crumbs.

Heat a tbsp of olive oil in a pan. Place spoonfuls of the batter onto the pan and using the back of the spoon, flatten it out a bit and shape into fritters. Fry on medium heat till it turns golden brown. Flip and cook on the other side till it turns golden brown too.

Drain on kitchen paper and serve hot.

Yummy, yummy, yummy!

** I have tried this recipe using cream cheese as well as grated cheese and both times, it was delicious. Feel free to experiment with your favorite cheese.

This recipe has been shared at –
Show Me Your Plaid

Week 4 of 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats: Chocolate Covered Pretzels

If you’ve seen a lot of my posts on 12WOCT in the past couple of years, you will have noticed that a lot of the traditional Goan Christmas sweets are very time consuming and labor intensive. Needless to say, the end results are absolutely delicious. But sometimes, you just don’t have the time or there’s too much on your plate and you still want to put together a fabulous home made Christmas platter without having to fuss about to much. Is that even possible?, you might wonder. Well I’m happy to tell you that it most certainly is. For this years edition, my focus has been on treats that are quick and easy to make and taste delicious. So whether you are a novice in the kitchen or are simply short on time but still ant to impress, you’ve come to the right place. For this weeks reveal, I’ve put together these yummy pretzel treats. They are so versatile and can be dressed up for pretty much any occasion. Simply switch up the sprinkles or use some colored sugar and you have something fancy you can put together for Halloween, Christmas, Easter or even color co-ordinate them for showers or birthday parties, the options are endless.

I’m not too happy with the evenness of the chocolate coating on some of them, but I think they still turned out alright. The next time I make these, I’ll either double dip them in the chocolate or I’ll cool the chocolate down a little to thicken it up a bit. I’m also very eager to try candy melts the next time around. I used mini pretzels and I think they’re just way cuter since they’re smaller. But these turned out really well. While I was dipping these in chocolate, my husband decided to help out by supposedly “tasting” some even before the chocolate had an opportunity to set up. In my experience that’s good news. He has really good taste. He isn’t fussy about food and will silently endure all the torture I put him through while I’m experimenting with new ideas. But when he really enjoys a dish, I can tell, and it makes it all worthwhile. Let me tell you this much, its hard to stop at one, or two, or even three with these bite sized treats.

Chocolate Covered Pretzels

1 packet of mini pretzels
A bar of white chocolate
Sprinkles of your choice (I used some chocolate strands and some hundreds & thousands)

Break the chocolate bar into smaller pieces and place in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for about 30 seconds. Stir and continue heating in bursts of 30 seconds till it melts and stir in between each zap, to ensure the chocolate doesn’t burn.

Prep a little assemble line of sorts on your table / counter / work platform. I placed them in this order – pretzels, melted chocolate, plate lined with baking parchment, sprinkles.

Dip the pretzels in the chocolate, and using a fork, pick it up and place it on the lined plate. Sprinkle the ‘sprinkles’ over it as desired.

Leave it to set. I usually pop it in the fridge for about 20 minutes.

There you go. That how quick, simple and easy this is. Repeat the process till you’re done. You can also use milk or dark chocolate if you prefer.

Don’t forget to check what the others have put together this week. We will be posting one new recipe every week for 8 more weeks so don’t forget to stop by every Wednesday for a new idea. If you’d like to join in and cook / bake with us, you can sign up at Brenda, our hosts blog, Meal Planning Magic.

Two Minute Chocolate Mug Cake

Over the last few weeks, I’ve found myself craving for some chocolate cake. Now I could very easily just pop over to one of the shops not far from where I live and pick one up. Believe me, there is no shortage of cake shops and cafes in Sydney city. But all of these are a little bit of a walk away and I really wanted to bake one myself. Now seeing as to how I don’t have access to an oven, that was going to be a bit of a problem. But then I remembered seeing some posts on a number of blogs that featured microwave mug cakes, small portions of yum that I could be biting into in a matter of a few minutes. That would be much quicker that getting to a cafe to buy some cake. So I began my hunt on the internet and found a recipe that I decided to try. I was really excited about it. Its as simple as putting the ingredients into a microwave safe mug, whisking it up and baking it for a few minutes. And you have about enough time to whip up a nice cup of tea while your cake gets ready. Oh, please don’t be over eager like me. You have to let the cake stand for a while after baking, or else you’ll be left with a burnt mouth. The cake does get insanely hot, so please do yourself a favor and try to wait, no matter how difficult that may seem at the time. Anyway, I do hope you try this recipe.

I pretty much stuck to the recipe, with the exception of chocolate chips. I didn’t have any so I just left them out. And it still tasted pretty good. Also, I didn’t think the mix would fit into the mugs I had, so I mixed the batter in a larger bowl and then poured it into the mugs. Now its not as perfect as the ones I’ve baked in an oven, but it was good. And now that I know that something like this can be whipped up in minutes, I’m gonna have to try extra hard to not make this too often, for the sake of my waist; if you get my drift 😉

Two Minute Chocolate Mug Cake
Recipe from: Completely Delicious
Yield: 1 large mug or 2 small mugs

3 tbsp veg. oil
3 tbsp whole milk
1 large egg
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp all purpose flour
4 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
A pinch of salt

Place the oil, milk, egg and extract in a large microwave safe mug and whisk together using either a whisk or a fork until combined.

Add the flour, sugar, cocoa powder and salt and mix until combined.

*If you’d like to add chocolate chips, stir in 3 tbsp chocolate chips.

Microwave on high for 2 minutes.

There  you go, your cake is ready!


Week 3 of 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats: Coconut Ladoos aka Coconut Snowballs

At the start of this years edition of 12 WOCT I said I would bring you recipes that were quick and easy to put together at home. Todays treat definitely fits the bill. It is quick and easy to prepare and so very delicious (ofcourse, I’m biased towards coconut). Nevertheless, these dainty treats will sure look so festive on a Christmas platter. Typically in India, they make these ladoos for Indian festivals like Diwali, but you’ll also see them make an appearance on some Christmas platters. In the past I have made other coconut treats like this Coconut Toffee for which I use a candy thermometer. This deliciously coconutty treat doesn’t need one and that suits me just fine since I’m starting out all over again without the luxury of my fully equipped kitchen back in Mumbai. So without any further delay, here’s this weeks treat – the humble Coconut Ladoo.

Coconut Ladoos
Yields: 12-15 pieces

125g desiccated coconut
1/2 tin of condensed milk
4 pods of cardamom

Peel the cardamom pods and powder the seeds.

Mix 100g of the coconut, the condensed milk and the powdered cardamom seeds in a non stick pan.

Place it on medium heat for about 5 minutes (or till the mix can be rolled into little balls), stirring frequently.

Leave it to cool for about 5-10 minutes or till it is cool enough to be handled.. The mix needs to be warm while shaping.

Take a spoonful of the mix into your hands and shape into balls and roll it through the remaining desiccated coconut.

Repeat with the rest of the mix.


Don’t forget to check what the others have put together this week. We will be posting one new recipe every week for 9 more weeks so don’t forget to stop by every Wednesday for a new idea. If you’d like to join in and cook / bake with us, you can sign up at Brenda, our hosts blog, Meal Planning Magic.

This recipe is linked to –
Tuesday Talent Show

Diwali Delicacies @ Spicy Treats and Priya’s Versatile Recipes

SRC: Blueberry Pancakes

Here we are at October’s SRC reveal. How I love reveal days! I’m happy to say that this month’s reveal treated me to the yummiest breakfast in a long, long time. For this month, I was assigned Kim’s blog, Everyday Mom. Kim’s blog has so much deliciousness packed in one place, I was spoiled for choice. She cooks and bakes with her 3 gorgeous children and you will see them featured in her posts. I was torn between quite a few of her recipes, like this Crunchy Kale, and this Chicken Satay Salad, and the yummy Mango Panna Cotta, these super fun Tortilla Bowls, Zuchinni Fries and these Black Bean Sweet Potato Quesadillas. Can you imagine the dilemma I was faced with? It was hard to pick one for the reveal. I will be making a few of these in the coming days but for the reveal I went with an absolute winner – her Pancakes. Now if you’ve been around for a while, you know I’ve posted pancake recipes in the past, namely my Coconut Pancakes, these Almost Vegan Pnother aancakes and Nigella Lawson’s Pancakes. So why another post on pancakes, you might wonder. Well, until now, I’ve never had the opportunity to make pancakes using buttermilk. And for the first time I had access to some yummy blueberries, that I’d picked up on a trip to Sydney’s Paddy’s Market at Haymarket.

An easy recipe to put together and a treat for breakfast, this recipe ticks all the boxes for me. The buttermilk does its magic and makes such fluffy pancakes, I was thrilled. Never before have I had such fluffy pancakes. I stuck to Kim’s recipe but halved it, since it was for just the two of us. I made some plain buttermilk pancakes (just incase my husband wasn’t feeling like the blueberry ones – he’s undecided on whether or not he likes blueberries). To the rest of the batter I added a handful of blueberries, but no other changes were made. We had the pancakes with some honey drizzled on top. They were so delicious, even my ‘undecided about blueberries husband’ enjoyed them. This will be my go-to recipe for pancakes from now on – Thanks Kim.

In the pan – on its way to becoming some brekkie deliciousness
Here are some of the plain buttermilk pancakes. You will notice the all of the pancakes are a little more on the brown side. We absolutely love the light crunch and caramelisation that this adds to the pancakes. You can pull them off the pan earlier to suit your liking. 

And last, but definitely not the least, some blueberry pancakes.

Blueberry Pancakes

1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste / vanilla extract
Maple Syrup, to drizzle over
A handful of blueberries (Approx. 1/4 – 1/3 cup)

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Combine the wet ingredients and add to the dry ingredients. Whisk together till combined.

Gently fold in the blueberries.

Heat a pan, spray some oil to coat the pan.

Pour a ladlefull of batter onto the hot pan. Leave some space for the batter to spread a little.

When you see bubbles appearing and bursting on the top, flip the pancakes over and cook till done.

Serve with some maple syrup! Yumm!!!

Thanks Jane – The Heritage Cook for hosting our very own Group A month after month and April – Angel’s Homestead for making sure that our fun Group here at the Secret Recipe Club runs smoothly and continues bringing a ton of yum to our tables every month. 


Week 1 of 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats: Hokey Pokey or Homemade Honeycomb

Yay …. its another delicious edition of 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats (12WOCT). I look forward to this linky party every year. And each year, the participants come up with such fabulous treats, it never ceases to amaze me. I know, you’re wondering “why on earth is she talking about Christmas, its barely the end of September!” Trust me, before you know it, it will be the week before Christmas and I’d like to have a collection of yummy treats and ideas handy for you to try out, whether you choose to start whipping them up early on or not.

I was seriously doubting if I’d be able to participate in this years 12WOCT party. As you know, I’ve only just moved to Sydney and am just about getting settled in. More importantly, I don’t have an oven at my disposal. Can you imagine that? I’m feeling a little lost without one at the moment. But I decided to prove to myself that I can have an equally delicious Christmas platter with just a microwave and a stovetop. This year, look out for easy, quick and fun options that you can belt out, even if all you have is a little kitchenette, like I do. Every week for the next 12 Weeks I’ll post something yummy that should give you a few options for your own Christmas platter. If you don’t want to miss out on the fun, you can follow my blog on Bloglovin’ (button on the right),  and yeah, we’re on Facebook too, you can follow us here.

This week, I decided to kick-off the festivities with some home made Honeycomb. It’s a Nigella Lawson recipe which she refers to as Hokey Pokey. Whatever you decide to call it, you have to give this a try. And you know why? It will take you less than 30 minutes from start to finish to whip up a batch of this deliciousness. Also, you don’t need any fancy ingredients or equipment to make it. With just 3 ingredients and a stovetop, you’ll end up with some really delicious, golden Hokey Pokey. This will be a sure hit for folks who like their candy really sweet. It was a little sweet for my liking, but I know a few people who would devour the whole lot. I think this Hokey Pokey would be great crushed over some ice cream or dipped in some dark chocolate. I gotta try that soon. If this lasts, this candy is best stored in an airtight container.

This batch turned out a little darker that it should have and hence had a slight bitter touch to it, but we like a darker caramel anyway, so it worked out well for us. However, when I make my next batch, I will take it off the heat a little earlier.

Hokey Pokey
Recipe by: Nigella Lawson

1/2 cup caster sugar
4 tbsp golden syrup
1 heaped tsp baking soda

Put the sugar and syrup in a saucepan an stir lightly to combine, before you can put in on the heat.

Do not stir once it is on the heat, or it’ll turn gritty and grainy, and you don’t want that to happen.

Place on the heat and let it melt and turn to a caramel-like gooey consistency.

You may swirl the pan if you’d like but please don’t stir.

Once the sugar has melted completely, take the pan off the heat and add the baking soda and quickly whisk it in.

Immediately turn it out onto some baking paper and leave it to set for about 15-20 minutes. (It may take longer depending on the temperature.) You can also pop it into the fridge once it has cooled down, to finish setting up.

Once it has set, roughly break it up into pieces, and there you go. You have some delicious homemade Honeycomb.

Don’t forget to stop by and check out what the other have whipped up this week. Also, if you’d like to participate in this 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats edition, stop by our lovely host, Brenda’s blog, Meal Planning Magic and fill out the form available here.