Monthly Archives: April 2013

Mango-Carrot Cake


I found this recipe on my favorite magazine – the “Better Homes and Gardens” magazine.  This is a totally different cake which uses mango juice.  A cake with mango juice?  I could not resist and decided to make it the day I received the magazine.  So I halved the ingredients thinking if I use the amount specified in the magazine I may have to bake twice.  But I was wrong.  Mine came a bit thin but it was delicious.  Instead of cream cheese frosting as specified in the magazine, I made butter cream.  You can definitely double this recipe.  Also I made some tweaks here and there.



  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 oz (¼ cup) butter, softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ½  cup mango juice (such as Odawalla Mango-Tango or Naked Mighty Mango)
  • 1 ½ cups finely shredded carrot

Butter Icing

  • 4 oz butter
  • ¾ cup butter softened
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon orange essence



  • Pre-heat oven to 350F.
  • Grease a 8 inch round cake pan and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl combine flour, salt, and baking powder and set aside
  • In a separate bowl beat butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy.
  • Add the egg and beat well.
  • Alternately add flour mixture and mango juice and beat on low speed until combined.
  • Stir in shredded carrot
  • Pour into prepared pan and bake for about 25-30 minutes or a tooth pick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Cool in pan to room temperature.

Butter Cream:

Beat together butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract and orange essence until light and fluffy

Spread over the cake.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens


Mushroom Pulav with Fried Soy Chunks


Even though mushrooms are not a delicacy in Sri Lanka, I thought to try this dish in combination with the soy chunks.  I used the same spices that I would use for any other vegetable pulav.


  • ¾ cup basmati rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  • 4-5 whole black pepper
  • 2 -1 inch piece cinnamon
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon each cumin seeds and coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ cup finely chopped tomato
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • ½ cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup dry soy chunks
  • ¼ cup cashew nuts



  • Grind ½ teaspoon cumin and ½ teaspoon coriander and set aside
  • Add 1 tablespoon oil to a skillet and when hot add onion, garlic, and ginger and sauté until onion turns transparent.
  • Add whole cumin, cardamom pods, cinnamon, black pepper, chili powder, garam masala powder, ground cumin-coriander powder to the skillet and sauté for another 2 minutes
  • Add chopped tomato and cook on low flame until tomato is cooked to the consistency of sauce
  • Now add sliced mushrooms, corn and salt and cook further 3-4 minutes
  • Wash rice and add the cooked vegetables into the rice and mix well.
  • Add 2 cups of water to the rice and cook in rice cooker.
  • In the meantime add boiling water to the soy chunks and cover and leave for 10 minutes
  • Once the soy chunks are soft, squeeze out the water by squeezing them between your palms
  • Add the 2 tablespoons of oil to a skillet and when hot add soy chunks to the skillet and fry on low flame until they are      crispy and lightly browned.
  • Lightly sauté the cashew nuts in a little oil
  • Once rice is done, let stand covered for about 10 – 15 minutes.
  • Now add fried soy chunks and cashew nuts and mix well and season with salt
  • Serve warm

Celebrating Earth Day


Today is earth day.  Since I was a child I love nature and animals.

Stir-fried Cauliflower and Potato Dry Curry




  • ½ lb potatoes
  • ½ lb cauliflower florets
  • 1 green chili finely chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed
  • ½ teaspoon coriander seed
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • Salt



  • Peel and cut the potatoes into about one inch cubes
  • Par boil the potatoes in boiling water until ¾ done – about 10 minutes (add a little salt to the boiling water so that, when potatoes are cooked, they will absorb the salt and makes it tastier.)
  • Drain well and set aside
  • Dry roast ½ teaspoon cumin seed and coriander seed until fragrant
  • Let cool and grind into a powder
  • Heat oil in a large skillet
  • When hot, add rest of the cumin seed (½ teaspoon) and fry until they splutter
  • Add green chili and garlic and fry for about one minute
  • Now add cauliflower to the skillet and add a bit salt and fry on low flame for about 5-7 minutes
  • Add potatoes, and the ground powder, chili powder, turmeric powder and fry uncovered on low flame for about 10-12 minutes.  Sprinkle little water at a time if  needed.
  • Now cover the saucepan and fry more for a minute
  • Turn the flame out and leave for about 10 minutes in the pan before transferring to a serving dish
  • Serve warm with rice or roti.
  • Yields: 3 side dishes

இனிய தமிழ் புத்தாண்டு நல் வாழ்த்துக்கள் (Happy New Year)


இந்த இரண்டாயிரத்து பதின்மூன்றாம் ஆண்டு புது வருஷம் “விஜய வருஷம் ” என்று சொல்லபடுகிறது.


Banana Oat Bread


I had to make something without milk and milk product.  So I searched online and got some ideas to make this banana bread.  Even though I am not a banana fan, I had so many over ripe bananas.  So to make it a bit different and to reduce the strong banana smell, I add so many other ingredients.  These extra additions make the banana bread healthier but it is very heavy and a bit crunchy outside.  But the inside came out nice and soft.


  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup all purpose white flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats (not the quick cooking)
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 1 cup mashed banana (about 2 large extra ripe      bananas)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped dates
  • ¾ cup chopped walnuts
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons flax seed
  • A little salt (about ¼ teaspoon or less)


  • Preheat oven to 350º F
  • Lightly grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and set aside.
  • In a large bowl mix together the flours, rolled oats, salt, and baking powder
  • In a separate bowl beat egg, oil, and vanilla essence until combined
  • Add the banana mixture into flour mixture and stir just until combined.
  • Add mashed banana, dates, walnuts, raisins and flax seed and stir gently until well  combined
  • Spoon batter into prepared pan and bake until a tooth pick inserted comes out clear –  about one hour
  • Remove from oven and let stand on a rack but still in the loaf pan for about 15-20 minutes.
  • Serve at room temperature