Monthly Archives: April 2012

Pasta Perfect!


So, a very talented photographer – Pratik Panchal edited this image for me, and also took the liberty of naming this post “Pasta Perfect”!

This dish can be easily tossed together in 15-20 minutes!

Put together some:  serves 4

1 bag of pasta that you enjoy – this goes well with almost any type

1 cup (or more) of basil pesto – see

1/2 cup pine nuts

2 cups whole rosa tomatoes

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

250g Bocchini mozzarella



olive oil


Boil the pasta – al dente.

While the pasta is on the stove, dress the tomatoes with olive oil, salt, pepper and maybe a bit of green chilli, if you enjoy a bit of heat! Roast in the oven for about ten minutes.


When the pasta is done, mix the pesto while its hot!

Tear up those perfect white balls of cheese and toss into the pasta, along with the sizzling tomatos!

Add the Parmesan, salt  and pepper to taste, along with a quick drizzle of olive oil  and toss.

Sprinkle the toasted pine nuts over the dish, and serve warm or cold as a salad.


I just love using a pasta with a shell like interior - it gives surprises of cheese and pine nuts when you dig in unexpectedly!

Oh…there’s nothing like fresh italian bread to soak up the remaining pesto afterwards;)

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A Special Occasion


Today feels like the beginning of the end. Or maybe…the end of the beginning!

The murtis imported from India for our Mayfair Mandir Mahotsav have been resting quietly, packed tightly in secure , sealed crates in my garage for a few weeks now.

Today is a very special day. Our team of dedicated volunteers arrived at our house early this morning to open every crate. They were shut so tight, with nails, staples and a thick hard aerated substance that makes human skin itch!

These guys were working at it in our garage till about 10am, when two sadhus came to join them. After lots of hammering, bashing, knocking, and wrenching, the boxes were finally opened. The murtis are now sleeping sweetly in my mandir room. The curtains are drawn, and the door gently shut. They will wake up on the day of the Pratishta- April 27th!

Late last night, I decided that the volunteers deserved a sweet treat to celebrate. My kitchen became a red velvet factory! There is nothing like Red Velvet Cupcake with Cream Cheese Frosting to celebrate the beginning of the end!

Mayfair Mandir Mahotsav ni Jai!


Eggless Red Velvet:

2 cups self raising flour

1 1/3 cup castor sugar

1 tbsp maizena

1/2 tbsp custard powder

4 tbsp cocoa powder  ( i like to throw in a tad more sometimes)

a pinch of salt

2/3 cup oil

1 1/2 tsp vinegar

1 tbsp vanilla

Super Red gel food colour

2 cups milk

Sift all the dry ingredients together. If you want your cake to be nice and fluffy, make sure you sift the flour 2 – 3 times.

Mix all the liquid ingredients ( dont forget the gel) in a bowl, and pour into the dry mixture. Mix lightly with a whisk – I use a whisk because it helps in smoothing all the lumps out.

If you feel like it’s not red enough, or not chocolatey enough, add more gel or cocoa! for me, a few drops of gel does the trick!

Time for filling the pan – make sure each cupcake mould is filled  up to atleast 2/3 of its capacity.

Bake at 180 for about 20 mins. Prick with a skewer to double check that the cupcakes are done. The skewer should come out nice and clean:)

The best part: Icing

50g softened butter

250g Philadelphia cream cheese

2 cups icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla

With a mixer, blend the butter and cream cheese together. Sometimes it helps to chop the block of cream cheese up into little pieces before hand.

Add the vanilla, and blend once again.

Sift 1 cup of icing sugar at a time. Blend between each cup.

Stick your finger in and get a goooooood taste of that cream cheese mix!

Keep this special icing in the fridge until you are ready to use it.

I sprinkled coconut on some cupcakes – it goes so well with the cream cheese icing and the chocolatey red velvet!


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Cookies For My Sister


I havn’t posted in a few days. It’s been making me pretty nervous! I have been extremely busy with hardly any time to look like a normal human being:)

Every Wednesday it is my mission to prepare something to send to my sister , Birju, who lives in Cape Town.

Since she recently has gone all cape town on me – she has developed some kind of “healthy” lifestyle.

So I decided to make these adapted Anzac cookies for her. They’re really easy to make, and not as sinful as most baked treats!


2 cups of rolled oats

1 cup dessicated coconut

3/4 cup organic  brown sugar

2 tbsp unrefined honey ( you can also use golden syrup)

100g butter (melted)

3 tbsp boiling water

1 tsp bicarb soda


Melt the butter, honey , boiling water and mix over a gentle flame. Add the bicarb soda to the liquid mixture.

Toast the coconut lightly – just enough to get a whiff of the sweet, nutty aroma.

Combine the coconut, oats, flour, sugar in a mixing bowl. Add the liquid combination , and mix gently.

Drop spoonfuls of the mixture onto a  baking sheet, and bake for 15 minutes at 180.

These go down well with a glass of milk:)

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showcasing my dear's wonderful bakes!

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