Samosa is a traditional Indian/Pakistani snack. It is basically a potato filled snack, although it can be filled with other vegetables or meat. However, if you are going traditional, it is the spicy potato filling. The hero is the pastry here, has to be beautifully crispy.

It is dee-lee-cious

They are made into triangular shapes and deep fried to a gorgeous golden color.

resting :)


carom seeds - 1/2 tsp
salt - 1/2 tsp
butter melted - 1/2 c
plain flour - 3 c

- mix all the ingredients well
- add enough lukewarm water to make a dough-not too soft
- cover and let sit for 15-20 min

potato filling

Potato filling

boiled potatoes - 3 med
cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
carom seeds - 1/2 tsp
coriander seeds crushed - 1 tsp
pomegranate powder - 1 tsp
chili flakes - 1 tsp
salt - 1 tsp

- mash potatoes- leave some chunks and don't over mash
- mix in all the spices
- make ping pong ball size rounds

roll out into oval shape and cut from the middle

bring the two corners together into a cone shape and secure with water

fill in with the potato filling and close in the ends

heat up enough oil and deep fry till golden

They go very well with chat, which I will hopefully share the recipe in the near future :):)

Lemon poppy seed with lemon boiled frosting

I made this cake a while ago but misplaced the pictures. The recipe is a classic that's always a hit and you never get sick of eating it (I certainly don't :D). I must admit I love poppy seed. They are very addictive, especially in cakes :P

Pretty much everyone has made or eaten this cake with or without slight variations. The icing that goes with it enhances its flavor even more. There are various icings that are used with this cake, Lemon drizzle, butter cream ...... many more, and they all go equally well.

I however chose a very different frosting to compliment this gorgeous citrus cake, lemon boiled frosting. This particular frosting is a little bit tricky to make but the result is certainly awarding. They taste absolutely divine together.

Also, for this cake I got a bit carried away and added a dash of vibrant colors and made a rainbow lemon poppy seed cake :) I love pretty colors.

Lemon poppy seed cake ( Womens weekly)

butter - 200 g
self-raising flour - 2 c
eggs - 3
sugar - 1 c
milk - 180 ml
poppy seed - 45 g

- preheat to 180 c, line and grease baking pan
- combine milk and poppy seed and leave for 10 min
- beat the eggs, butter, sugar until pale and mix in the flour and mix in the poppy seeds
- bake for 45 min or until done

pretty flowers :)

Lemon boiled frosting

egg whites - 2
sugar - 1 c
water - 1/3 c
lemon juice 1/2 tbs
corn syrup - 1 tbs
salt - a pinch

- put the sugar, water, corn syrup and salt in a saucepan and sitr until dissolved
- boil without stirring until reaches 120 c
- in a bowl beat the egg whites until stiff, slowly add the syrup whilst beating
- add the lemon juice and continue beating for 10-15 min until very stiff and holds its shape


Pumpkin oatmeal cookies

I love pumpkin, especially in desserts. They taste great and have loads of benefits.

Did you know that they are low in calories? I certainly didn't. It only has 26 calories per 100g and so are used by dieticians in weight reduction programs. Besides being low in calories, it is also packed full of antioxidants.
Anyway, bottom line- Its is good for you and you should have more of it.

So this particular recipe is also good for you as it is made from oats and wholemeal flour and of course the low in calories pumpkin (I'm lovin it).

For this recipe I made my own pumpkin puree as I bought fresh pumpkins for only 50c a kilo (BARGAIN!!!). I bought quite a bit and they are now happily sitting in my freezer :) The good thing about buying fresh pumpkin is that it doesn't cost you as much (if you find yourself a bargain) and also canned pumpkins don't come seeds (my seeds are sun bathing atm :p).

Again, it is a very easy and stir-everything-together recipe that takes no time to make at all.

Pumpkin oatmeal cookies (homestyle magazine)

margarine - 1 c
brown sugar - 1 1/2 c
pumpkin puree - 1 c
egg - 1
chopped nuts - 1 c
wholemeal flour - 2 c
oats - 1 1/3 c
baking soda - 1 tsp
cinnamon - 1 tsp
vanilla - 1 tsp

- preheat to 180c, grease and line baking sheets
- beat the egg, margarine, sugar, vanilla until light and fluffy
- Add the pumpkin puree, flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon and mix well-stir in the nuts
- drop table spoons on the baking sheets and bake for 15-20 min until done

Sesame twists

As you know I bought a pack of ready-made puff pastry the other day for almond and fig tart. I only used a couple of sheets and I'm still left with a few. I don't like to store things and plus my freezer was overly crowded. So i had to make something of it.

This is a no-brainer. really simple, really quick. I used sesame seeds but you can use a whole range of variations. For the seasoning, I kept it simple and used just salt but again you can season with pepper or garlic or chili or whatever you like.

Also, next time I make it, I will make a sweeter version of it. Probably sugar with a hint of cinnamon or cardamom and poppy seeds and.... I can go on about this and come with heaps of different flavors. It's simple yet the result is outstandingly delicious and crispy.

Sesame twists

puff pastry sheets
sesame seeds

- sprinkle heaps of sesame seeds on the puff pastry and sprinkle a bit of salt, with a rolling pin slightly press down the sesame seeds.
- cut strips and twist each strips and bake on high until golden

Fig and almond tart with chocolate ice cream

This was my first time trying out fresh figs. I have had figs before but they were dried figs and they are much more sweeter than the fresh ones. In fact the fresh ones are hardly sweet (at least the ones I tried).

I pre-planned everything for these gorgeous fresh figs. I wanted to make a beautiful fig and almond tart with chocolate ice cream that I had made the day before. So I went to the supermarket and bought all the things I needed.
I came home happy that I will be home all day by myself baking-but of-course to my disappointment I was told that we are expecting guests (had to happen didn't it).

But I had already made my mind that I'm having almond and fig tart with chocolate ice cream. And so I did but with few changes.

I used ready-made puff pastry. :D Yes, the good old ready-made puff pastry from the handy frozen aisle. They are there to be used right? So why not.

This is a quick recipe that I managed to pull off and indulge in the small time frame that I had. Honestly, I don't think I wanted anything better :)

Almond and fig tart

almond paste - 110g
cream cheese - 1/3 c
vanilla - 1 tsp
honey - 2 tbs
fresh figs - 4-5
Puff pastry sheets

- preheat to 180c
- mix everything well except the figs
- spread the filling on the pastry
- slice the figs how ever you like it and lay it on top of the filling and fold the sides of the pastry
- bake until golden

Chocolate ice cream

dark chocolate - 110g
milk - 1 c
cream - 1 c
sugar - 1 c
coffee flavor - 1 tsp (or other variations)

- Heat the milk and remove from the heat, add the chocolate and stir until smooth-cool
- whisk the eggs until fluffy and in the sugar and mix well
- add the cream, coffee and the chocolate mixture and blend well
- chill and freeze according to the ice cream maker and set

Milk powder halwa

Yes the name doesn't sound too fancy (I'm not good with names at all), I have done a direct translation of it and originally it's called khushk dhood ka halwa. Anyway it doesn't need any fancy name because it is a hit on its own.

And I gotta admit I'm in love with middle eastern food a lot, probably because they use a lot of different spices and this beautiful sweet is no exception. Even though its categorized as a sweet, it is not overly sweet like some out there. And that's a good thing because then you can eat heaps of them right ;)

This recipe was given to me by a family friend who is also equally passionate about baking and cooking. Shes much older than me but we do get along quite well, probably because we share the same interest and that becomes sort of our connection point.

I have tried and eaten a lot of different sweets and this is easily in my top 5 (I have got a long list). It is very easy to make, very quick and very yummy. I always make this when I'm running out of time or when I don't feel like going through a lot of hassle.

Milk powder halwa

Butter - 1/2 cup
Milk powder - 2 c
Condensed milk - 1 375g can
Almond - 1/2 c slithered
Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp
Eggs - 4

- In a pan over medium heat, add butter and milk powder and stir 3-4 min until browned evenly. make sure not to burn
- In a separate bowl whisk the eggs and add to the milk mixture, add condensed milk, cardamom powder and keep cooking till it comes together and it's doughy.
- stir in the almonds and transfer the mixture in a square or rectangular baking pan and smooth it out.
- decorate with some almonds and let cool- cut into square or diamonds.

Cherry muffins with passion fruit glace icing

The famous box of cherries :P

Yes, I Still have plenty of cherries left from that big box.
And no, I am not whinging about it at all.
In fact, I am excited and thankful for that big box of cherries because that means I can try out many different recipes out there and have fun.

And so continuing my hunt for recipes that use cherries I came across various gorgeous recipes including this soft and fluffy Cherry Muffins. These muffins are totally a breeze to make, only a matter of a quick stir with simple easily accessible ingredients.

These muffins are a hit by themselves but you can make them extra special by topping them with passion fruit glace icing, which will make them deliciously glossy.

I know youll find these muffins completely irresistible (coming from experience :D)

Just out of the oven :)

Just as good by itself

Cherry Muffins (readers digest)

cherries pitted - 400g
butter - 125
eggs - 3
brown sugar - 140g
vanilla - 1tsp
sour cream - 150g
self-raising flour - 350g

- preheat oven to 180c and line muffin pans
- whip up the butter, sugar, vanilla, sour cream and eggs just to combine
- sift in the flour and fold in the cherries
- bake for 20min or until done

The glace icing looked a lot vibrant in real

Passion fruit glace icing

- passion fruit pulp - 4tbs
- icing sugar - 360g

- mix the icing sugar and passion fruit pulp in a bowl
- stir the mixture over a bowl of simmering water until its smooth and glossy.
- simply dip you muffins in the icing and your done (told you its a too good too quick recipe)

And the fluffiness :D

Banana oat bran muffins

Another healthy snack.

Seems like I am totally after a fiber and protein filled healthy diet doesn't it. Well its not that really. I just bought a big bag of oat bran (it was on sale, never miss out on a bargain :D) and thought what a better way of using it than in a muffin. And having bananas ripening away, I thought, let's make banana oat muffins.

This recipe uses all the good stuff, ripe banana, nutritious carrot, healthy oat bran, wholemeal flour, honey, and not to mention the amount of butter it has (only 2 tbs) and I'm sure it can easily be swapped with vegetable oil for even healthier result.

They are gorgeous, they are simple, they are irresistible and the best part is they satisfy your taste buds AND provide nutritional benefits.

you can enjoy them for breakfast along with a glass of milk or a cup of earl grey. These muffins you can never have enough off. You can simply swap the fruits and try different variations, which I am planning to next time I make these munchkins. :)

Banana oat bran muffins (adapted from homestyle magazine)

butter, melted - 2tbs
brown sugar - 1/3 c
wholemeal flour - 3/4 c
baking powder - 1tsp
salt - 1/4 tsp
oat brain - 1/2 c
egg - 1
honey - 2 tbs
buttermilk - 1/2 c
vanilla - 1tsp
ripe banana - 1
carrot, grated - 1
applesauce - 3tbs

- preheat oven to 180c and grease and line 6 muffin pan.
- beat the egg, honey, butter, vanilla, buttermilk and the brown sugar.
- sift in the flour, add the oat bran, baking soda, salt, the mashed banana, carrot and applesauce. combine well
- spoon mixture onto into the paper liners and bake for 30 min or until done

* I added sultanas to these muffins and turned out they are not a family favorite. Next time I'll stick to the recipe :)

Almond and honey nougat

This was my third time making nougat. The first one was inedible, hard as rock. The second didn't set, so it was basically a sweet stiff egg white. This attempt was a third time lucky.

Nougat is a bit tricky to make... the process of whipping the egg whites and boiling sugar, the glucose (a bonus in this recipe! No glucose syrup needed) the honey seems (practically is) a lot of work. The boiling of sugar to the right temperature requires a lot of skills. And so achieving the best result comes not only from a good recipe but also from a lot of practice I think.

A good nougat should be flavorful and fluffy without being too chewy. I have looked through many recipes but non of them have quite met my criteria of a flavorful and not too chewy nougat except for this one.

It has the right amount of honey and nuts and is full of flavor. Finally a keeper!!

its a good idea to wipe your utensils with vinegar to whip up a stiff egg white

Almond and honey nougat (Women's weekly)

honey - 180g
caster sugar - 290g
water - 1tbs
egg white - 1
blanched almonds - 2 c

- Grease a deep square cake tin and line with rice paper.
- combine honey, sugar, water and stir without boiling until sugar dissolves.
- bring to boil for 10min without stirring until reaches 160c and remove from heat
- beat egg white to soft peaks
- pour the syrup in thin stream to the egg white while beating
- continue beating til the mixture is very stiff and the mixer sounds like its about to die :)
- stir in the nuts (work quickly) and press firmly into the pan.
- cool and cut into squares.

Not a big fan of nougat? you will like this one because it doesn't taste all sugar, its the real deal. :)

Authentic chicken biryani

As you probably know by now, I am not really into cooking that much. I eat whatever my mum cooks and don't really pay much attention as to what she cooks and how she cooks it.

In saying that, it doesn't mean that I am totally ignorant about anything to do with cooking. Its just that I really don't like it as much because I don't get to play around with it and have as much fun as to when I bake. However, I do thoroughly enjoy trying out new recipes from different countries all over the world. This type of cooking I love and can cook tirelessly for hours and still enjoy every bit of it.

This authentic chicken biryani recipe was given to me by my good friend at work. She is from Pakistan and this biryani as the name says it is an authentic Pakistani biryani. It is packed full of flavors with different spices. And speaking of spices, this dish has plenty of spice. So feel free to adjust the spices (in particular the chili powder and garam masala) according to your taste.

Chicken Biryani

For the Masala
Basmati rice - 2 1/2
Chicken - 1 medium size cut into pieces
oil - 1/3 c
onion - 3 medium
garlic - 1 tbs paste
ginger - 1tbs paste
yogurt - 1 1/2 c
Kewra water - 2tbs (can be found in Indian stores)
cloves - 10
black cardamoms - 2
cinnamon - 2 small sticks
whole black pepper - 1tsp
cumin seeds - 1tsp
green cardamoms - 10
mint - handful
green chillies - 6
prunes - 5-6
salt - to taste
red chili powder - to taste
coriander powder - 1tsp
lemon - 1

For the Rice
cumin seeds - 1/2tsp
cloves - 10
salt - 1 1/2 tbs

- Boil the rice along with the cloves and salt in enough water until they are done 3/4 way through and drain the water
- meanwhile, slice the onions and fry in the oil till they are brown, take half of it out onto a paper towel to dry the excess oil
- on the other hand while the onions are browning up, process the green cardamoms into powder and set aside.
- process the black cardamoms, cinnamon, black pepper and cumin into powder (garam masala).
- in the remaining onion, add the chicken, ginger garlic paste, salt, red chili powder, coriander and the garam masala
- cover and cook till the chicken is cooked
- while the chicken is cooking, cut the lemon into slices, chop the mint and the green chillies
- crush the remaining fried onions with your hand and add it to the yogurt and mix well
- when the chicken is cooked, add the yogurt mix and cook till the oil is separated and turn off the heat, add kewra water and the prunes
- in a rice cooker (a pot will do equally fine) add half the rice, top it with the chicken mix and then the green chillies, mint, lemon and powdered green cardamom
- top with the remaining rice and add a few drops of orange color to make it even more vibrant
- cover and cook on very low heat for 10-15 min

This dish is an absolute treat. Yes, it is a lot to take in and it takes a lot of planning and a heck of a lot of time, but hey, you can not ignore the end result. It is spicy and it is delicious.

I can have this even for breakfast!! No kidding, its yummy.

WARNING!! it is quite spicy, if you can't take the heat you might want to cut down on the chili powder and the garam masala. :)

Chocolate Fudge Faces

I bake because it gives me a time out from the everyday boring and sometimes stressful life. I also bake because it gives me the pleasure that I crave.
Also it is fun and adventurous every time. Not to mention all the delicious smells that fill the entire house and the happy and excited faces of the people who you bake for.

AH!! This is all the pleasure you can ask for.

Baking these cuppies were FUN FUN from start to finish. Starting with the simple action of beating the butter and the sugar and sifting of the flour and mixing everything together, to the coloring and shaping of the fondant. And best of all letting your imagination run wild. :)

Mum and Dad :)

brother, currently going through hormonal changes. so the pimples :P

Chocolate Fudge cupcakes (Homestyle magazine)

Broken dark chocolate - 50g
butter - 85g
milk - 1tbs
self-raising flour - 200g
bicarb soda - 1/2 tsp
brown sugar - 85g
caster sugar - 50g
egg - 1
sour cream - 142ml

- preheat oven to 180
- heat the chocolate, butter and milk until melted-cool
- mix the flour, soda, brown sugar and caster sugar
- in separate bowl beat the egg and sour cream and pour it into the flour mixture and and add the cooled chocolate mixture
- spoon into the cases and bake for 20 min until done

* These cupcakes are chocolatey and perfect on their own but to make them extra special top with chocolate ganache.
And if you are planning to have some fun with 'em, go ahead and roll yourself some fondant and play around :)


Cherry and apple slice

As I said before, cherries are in abundance here and we have a box full waiting to be eaten. And because cherries are so delicate they go bad really quick. Despite the cherry jam I made last time, there are still a lot left. So, I needed to find a way to use them once again.
I Googled "cherry recipes" and searched for a recipe that would tickle my fancy.
I don't like slices that are too dense or too sweet (well may be at times), mostly I like them light so I can have more of them. :)

I searched and searched and I searched. NOTHING!!

So I drove down to the local library and got a couple of baking books and thankfully found something relevant enough to get baking. :)

The original recipe called for berries but cherry went equally well. My Dad could not stop eating!!

Next time I make this slice Ill make double the batch so everyone gets to have them (or I can just store a couple before anyone gets their hands on them).

Cherry and apple slice

Cherry and apple slice (homestyle magazine)

unsalted butter - 150g
sugar - 310g
eggs - 2
buttermilk - 170ml
vanilla - 1tsp
self-raising flour - 250g
large apples - 2
pitted cherries - 300g

- preheat oven to 180c and line and grease baking tin
- beat the butter and mixture until pale and fluffy, add eggs and beat well
- add in the buttermilk, vanilla and sift in the flour
- spread half of the mixture and slice the apple very thinly and spread over the mixture
- top it with the remaining mixture and scatter the cherries over the top
- bake for 40min or until done