Edible Gifts for the Festive Season #DiwaliGifts

Ever spent hours in the shops/malls/infront of the computer screens wondering, what to take to someones’ home for Diwali and other festivals?

I always feel that everyone has everything one can possibly imagine these days. However handmade beauties can never be to less. A DIY kit or even a basket full of stuff that one may enjoy can be gifted to them.

Here are my top recipes and gifts this season:

Upside Down cakes- There is something inherently sexy about naked cakes. The best part about the upside down ones is that they have a sheen on them which feels jelly like. This season you may make

Eggless Upside down apple cake
Eggless Upside down apple cake

pineapple upside down cake


Eggless cakes- Since this is a festive season. not many people indulge in eggs, hence try out these beautiful eggless cakes and make it a Diwali gift to remember

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coca cola cake

Whole Wheat Bread- The warm breads fill the homes with warmth and gorgeous aroma. Gift these with some olive oil/butter and no one shall complain.




Biscotti- Biscotti are essentially a twice baked cake. They are crumbly and buttery and oh so delicious.

mocha biscotti


You may make variations to the butter recipe by adding toasted sesame, funfetti etc.

Indian Sweets- Halwas and Burfis are synonymous with festivals. How about making them at home and sharing the joy. This way you can tweak the sugar levels as well.

kalakand (1)

halwa3 (1)


Desserts- This category can be as wide as sheet cakes to dessert pizzas, fruit cream to custard… World is your oyster.


Sacher torte topped with truffles and strawberries.

pista cake

Cake pops- So in case you do not feel like baking a cake from scratch, get a pack of the ready to mix cake batter flour and transform the shop bought delight to cake pops.


Cupcakes- These mini god-sent cakes deserve a podium to make a speech and a medal. They fit in your heart and mouth super easily and also help you make friends. ;)

vanilla strawberry cup cake

red velvet


chocolate lemon cup cake with Lemon buttercream frosting


Celebrations cakes- These are more elaborate but are totally worth the effort. :)

black forest

  • Sacher Torte

Sacher torte topped with truffles and strawberries.

Multi layer cake 1 (1)

photo 4


anna cake

strawberry cake1

choc cake 5

Cheese cake- How about making your own cheese and then turning it into a gorgeous cheese cake :)


Hope you will try to make someone of these and delight the loved ones.



Paneer Stuffed Poori for Navratri Fasting

This post goes out to the time I spent in Delhi with my bua. I kept navratri fasts with her only to get these yummy goodies. She made something different everyday. it was feast in the name of the festival ;)

So I gave into the quintessential Navratri feast, Rajgira/Amarnath and singhada/ flour pooris. But how can they work without a little hard work? Do not worry, here is the step by step version of the golden discs from heaven :D

You shall need: [Feeds 2-3]

1/2 cup Singhada/chestnut flour

1/2 cup Rajgira/Amarnath Flour + some more to roll

Rock Salt

3 tsp Roasted Jeera/cumin Powder

2 tsp mari/Kaali mirch/Black pepper

2 tbsp curd

3 tsp oil + more for frying

150 gms crumbled paneer/cottage cheese

1 medium sized potato – boiled


  • Put the paneer between two paper towels to drain excess moisture. Press it lightly to make it drier.
  • Crumble it on a plate and add 1.5 tsp jeera powder, salt and 1 tsp black pepper powder. Mix it well until combined.

Paneer Stuffed Vrat poori

  • In a bowl, add the two flours, 1.5 tsp jeera powder, 1 tsp black pepper powder, 2 tsp oil, curd and salt.
  • Mix them by hand until everything resembles wet sand or is a crumble mix.
  • Now add the mashed/grated potato and knead the dough.
  • You might be tempted to add water but trust me you might not need at all.
  • Once the dough comes together, add another tsp of oil to the dough and knead well.
  • Keep it aside and cover with a plate/cloth.

Paneer stuffed poori for navratri

  • Put the oil to heat.
  • Divide the dough in 10-12 balls of equal size. Gently flatten the ball to form a cavity.
  • Do not be tempted to stuff it, add a reasonable amount and seal it.

Falahari stuffed poori

  • Lightly dust the chakla/rolling surface and put the stuffed dough ball on it.
  • Gently try to roll it in a disc. Keep sealing the bursts. Also do not worry if there is a burst corner, it will crisp up in the oil.

Vrat poori

  • Lower the poori in oil, just as you fry a regular poori.
  • Once it ballons/fluffs up; turn and cook on the other side.

Vrat poori

  • Serve with curd or a side dish of your choice.

Singhada rajgira stuffed poori



Vrat Bhakhri – Navratri Recipies

Did you know that we consume most calories while we are fasting? This is because of the ingredients that we use to make the fasting food. Since I am on a mission to find alternatives for myself and the husband, I landed up making this version of bhakhri for breakfast. I made this with no potatoes, less oil and toasted them on the flame.

You shall need [Serves 2]

1/3 cup Singhada Flour/Chestnut Flour

1/3 cup Rajgira/Amarnath Flour

3 tbsp thick curd

1/2 tsp Lemon Juice

Rock salt and Pepper to taste


Few tsp of water if need be

1 tbsp oil

Ghee to smear on top


  • Put all the ingredients in the bowl except curd and ghee.
  • Mix using the finger tips.
  • Make a small well in the middle and put the curd in.
  • Now these flours are gluten free hence it is the curd that is going to bind it all together.
  • I would recommend putting in a tbsp at a time to be sure that the dough is not too lose.
  • Keep pressing the dough between your palm to get an idea about the consistency.
  • The dough will appear dry-ish at first but when we start making balls from it [roughly 6-7] you will get a better idea.
  • Keep pressing the balls as tight as possible.
  • Using a little singhada/chestnut flour on the rolling board, roll these thin one at a time.
  • keep adding the flour so that it does not stick to the board and is easy to lift.
  • Keep moving it around so that the sides are all even and thin as well.
  • Heat a pan and put the bhakhri on it.
  • Cook it on medium heat until bubbles appear.
  • Flip the side and cook it as well.
  • Now using a chimta/pair of tongs, move the bhakhri to the open flame and lightly toast it.
  • Remove from heat and apply ghee.

Vrat Bhakhri


  1. Rock Salt is less salty as compared to the table salt, add a little more than the usual.
  2. You may also add some roasted peanut powder and green chillies

Egg Free Apple Upside Down Cake

Apples have been a big part of me growing up. We always had a love and hate relationship, however since the pati now loves it a LOT; we always have some in the fridge. Anyway this apple was somehow tucked behind the flours in the fridge. When I found this one, it was frail and the skin was starting to shrivel. So this cake came to life :)

You shall need:

1 large apple [Skin it and soak it in salted water]

4 tbsp Brown sugar

2 tbsp melted butter

1 cup curd

1.5 cup All purpose flour

3/4 cup powdered sugar

1.5 tsp Vanilla Essence

1.5 tsp Cinnamon powder

1 tsp Baking soda

1.5 tsp Baking powder

1/4 cup oil


  • Pre heat oven to 180C.
  • Line a springform pan with butter paper on the base and brush the sides with butter.
  • Cut the apple in thin slices and keep aside.
  • Mix 2 tbsp butter with 3 tbsp brown sugar and spread on the base of the pan.
  • Line the apples in the tin in the fashion that you like.
  • Sprinkle the remaining brown sugar on the apples and keep aside.
Eggless Upside down apple cake
Eggless Upside down apple cake
  • In a bowl add curd and sugar and wisk it well.
  • Now add the vanilla and mix. Add the baking powder and soda and let it sit for atleast 10 min. This will make the curd bubble and give us the much needed sponge in the cake.
  • Sift the flour and cinnamon and add half of it to the curd mix.
  • Add the oil and mix well.
  • Add the remaining flour and mix gently. Do not overmix. mix only until combined.
  • Pour the batter on the apples and bake for 30-35 min or until the skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Once the cake is done, Pull it out and let it sit for atleast 10 min.
  • Remove the pan’s side and turn the cake sponge side down on a plate.
Eggless Upside down apple cake
Eggless Upside down apple cake
Eggless Upside down apple cake
Eggless Upside down apple cake
  • Remove the butter paper carefully. A glossy apples shall make you smile :)
Eggless Upside down apple cake
Eggless Upside down apple cake


  1. Keep the butter paper slightly bigger than the base so that the runny sugar and butter can be caught on it.
  2. Try to pack the apples as tightly as possible so that the cake batter gets locked on top of it. Someone of it will find a way to the bottom but that is okay.



Product Review: Biryani Affair @BiryaniAffair

I sometimes think about my food middle name. How would Pallavi Eclair Purani sound? Or Pallavi Mango Purani? The name that makes me smile ear to ear is definitely, Pallavi Biryani Purani. :D There is something about flavoured rice, the filling and oh those luscious accompaniments that make my day.

For those who do not know about this food group, here are some facts:

  • The origins of the dish are disputed and varied.
  • Biryani is layered rice preparation with higher spice content while pulao is a mix of the protein/vegetables with a slightly milder spice content.
  • It is is of two types: Kacchi [marinated Protein and veggies are cooked along with the raw rice] and Pakki [cooked protein/vegetables are layered with rice.
  • A good biryani has a fantastic aroma, loose rice and perfect spice balance.
  • Ghee is an essential condiment that added to the aroma and flavour.

The very polite people from Biryani Affair sent a sample all the way to Thane for me to try it. The team is informed, accommodating and every ready to take up suggestion.

So I got the Heer Ranjha Paneer Tikka Biryani with raita, salan and onions, Butter Naan and Krazy Veg Jalfrazi Medlley.

Biryani Affair- Mumbai

Krazy Veg Jalfrazi Medlley- I usually NEVER order mix veg in any form at restaurants or for home delivery. This one was such a wonderful surprise. Do not get frazzled by the oil on the top, this mughlai dish wants that kind of richness. The mix is a feast for your taste buds. It contains peas, cauliflower, tomato and green beans in a balanced aromatic sauce. We polished this one off first. The butter naan had given up a little on us, owing to the travel it had undergo. However for the distances that they cater, they were of perfect size and moisture. The no leak container is always a welcome change. I hate oil soiled poly bags.

Biryani Affair, Mumbai

Biryani affair- veg jalfrazi medlly

Paneer Biryani- It would be fair to note that the tandoori paneer is best when it straight out of the clay oven. I microwaved the panner for a few min and it was back to the right consistency. The rice and the tikka masala was beautiful, They had not missed the friend onions on top which is a must for a biryani. The rice was cooked just right and each grain was long and separate from the other grain, no clumpy rice. The container comes lined with foil which makes it easy to eat from and pack away for later. How can there be no mention of the beautiful salan. This in house prepared salan tastes just like one of the authentic places in hyderabad make. Spice and peanut make this liquid gold which is a perfect accompaniment. I could only wish there was more :D LOVED it.

Biryani Affair- Mumbai Paneer Tikka Biryani- Biryani Affair Raite and Salan- Biryani Affair Biryani Affair Biryani Affair menu- Mumbai

Here is how you can get in touch with them :)

Phone number: 022 30151155

Online Order: Available on Zomato

Zomato link: https://www.zomato.com/mumbai/biryani-affair-andheri-west

Party Orders: Yes

Price for two: Rs. 800

Special Menu designing for parties: yes

I would give this place a 4 star on 5 :) 4/5



Eggless Zebra Cake

Once in a while there comes an opportunity to bake for a dear friend. RJ and I are from the same town, almost same growing up environment. Even though he comes from an entitled family, his heart is pure gold. He is down to earth and believes in working hard and paving a way for himself. This cake for a celebration of him, his birthday. :)

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Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset
200 gms Amul whipping cream
200 gms dark chocolate
50 gms powdered sugar
10 gms butter
  • Gently heat the cream in a bowl.
  • Remove from heat and add finely chopped chocolate.
  • let it stand for 3-4 min and then mix until the chocolate melts.
  • Add the butter.
  • If the chocolate/butter still has lumps, put it on the gas for few seconds and take it off immediately. It only needs gentle heat.
  • Mix well and let it stand. It needs about 4-5hours to thicken well.
  • Using a hand beater, beat the mix for 5 min, it should increase in volume.
  • Put it in the fridge for 15 min before putting on the cake.
Filling with chocolate chips
Filling with chocolate chips
All purpose flour( Maida)- 2 cups
  Thick curd-1-1/4 cup
  Sugar powder-1.5 cup
  Baking soda-1 tsp
  Baking powder-1 tsp
  Cooking oil-1/2 cup
  Vanilla essence – few drops
  Cocoa powder-3 tbsp
  Milk- 3/4 cup [Put 2 tsp vinegar in it and let it stand for 10 min. It will thicken] and 3 tbsp
  • Pre heat oven to 180C for 10 min on bake mode.
  • Mix curd and sugar in a bowl. Mix until the sugar dissolves
  • Add the baking soda and powder to it and keep it aside for 5 min. It will start to bubble.
  • In another bowl, mix the milk, essence and oil.
  • Sift the flour 2 times.
  • Add half the flour and half the liquid mix to the curd mix. Mix with a spatula only until combined. Do not over beat.
  • Add the remaining flour and liquids and mix.
  • In a smaller bowl, mix the 3 tbsp cocoa powder and 3 tbsp milk.
  • Add half the cake batter to the cocoa mix and mix gently until combined.
  • Line a cake tin with butter paper/dust with butter and flour.
  • Using same size spoon [I used 1/4 cup measures], alternate the batters in the tin to form concentric circles.
  • Bake for 25-30 min or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Take it out of the oven and let it sit for 15 min before demoulding it.

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eggless marble cake7 (1)

Do write to me, once you bake it :)



Sending this to:


Kalakand has been one of those melt in the mouth sweet dishes that make you feel all warm and fuzzy. I made this one for Janmashtmi and it has been a hit among family and friends.

You shall need: [Time taken- 2.5 hours]

2 L Full cream Milk

3 tbsp lemon juice

60 gms sugar

1.5 tsp cardamom powder

20-25 soaked raisins- chopped

Chopped nuts

muslin cloth

Ghee greased tray/plate



  • Boil 1L milk in two bowls.[1L in each bowl]
  • With one we shall make paneer and with the other we need to reduce it to half.
  • The milk to be reduced in half should be on a medium slow heat.
  • To the milk for paneer, add a tsp at a time of lemon juice. We want to be cautious about adding the lemon because we do not want the paneer to be sour.
  • Once the milk solids separate, collect the paneer in muslin cloth and let it sit there for 20 min.
  • Once the milk to be halved has reached the desired level, add the sugar, raisins and cardamom powder.
  • Once the sugar is dissolved, add the paneer, little at a time and stir continuously.
  • Now after this point, you cannot really leave the mixture and loiter.
  • Watch it well and keep stirring it so that the mix does not stick to the bottom and burn.
  • So that we want to do here is remove the moisture as much as possible, we want to left with milk solids with a beautiful colour.
  • Once the liquid is evaporated, pour the contents on the greased plate and shape as desired.
  • Put the nuts on top and cover with a lid and put some weight on it. Any liquid that didn’t escape earlier shall find it’s way out.
  • Cut and serve.

kalakand (1)


  1. After adding the raisins, the colour of the kalakand shall change a bit. It will look very pale brown. Don’t get alarmed, this is the desired result.
  2. Your milk vessels must me very clean with no trace of soap.
  3. You may add some saffron to get the yellow tinge.

The entry is for The Urban Spice Sweet September Giveaway.



Moong Dal halwa – Ganesh Chaturthi Special #ganeshchatruthi

So Ganesh ji and I have always been friend’s of some sort. I have high respect for him and he makes sure I stay in line. Last year I made some Nariyal laddos so this year I wanted to serve the Lord something that I absolutely Love. Moong Dal halwa holds a very special place in my heart. It is that hearty, wintery and warming dish that reminds me of childhood.

However life goes on and we grow older; this is an ode to the Lord for all things great and the blessings that he bestowed on us. Thank you for being there.

You Shall need: Scantly adapted from Veg recipes of India- Time taken- Soaking [overnight] Cooking [2 hours]

2.5 cups Soaked dhuli moong dal

1.5 cup ghee

3 cup milk

1-3/4 cup sugar – We dont like it sickly sweet hence reduced quantities.

1.5 tsp Cardamom powder – elaichi powder

1/4 cup water

Non stick pan




  • Grind the dal in a mixer to a course paste using the water as scant as possible.
  • Remove to contents from the jar using a spatula or a spoon as deem fit.
  • heat the ghee in a non stick pan on a medium low heat.
  • Add the moong dal mix.
  • Stir it well until the ghee is combined, it will take a few minutes.

halwa1 (1)

  • Let the flame be on medium low and stir as frequently as possible so that the mix does not stick to the pan and cook unevenly.
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  • This will make sure you make a few trips to the kitchen every now and then.
  • The mark of cooked mix is that the ghee will float on top.
  • Don’t be shy and let it brown.

halwa2 (1)

  • You might feel the ghee is too much as this point, I even took out 3/4 cup of the ghee. But trust me the halwa needs this.
  • Heat the milk and sugar with cardamom until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Once the dal is browning nicely, you may add the milk.
  • Stir and cook until the milk is absorbed. Once the milk was absorbed, I added the ghee back little at a time.

halwa3 (1)

  • Let the halwa brown to the colour that you prefer.
  • Serve with love.
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  1. Do not worry about the dal when it looks like sand after browning- before adding the milk. it is just fine
  2. You may add a few tbsp more sugar if you have a sweet-er tooth
  3. Recipe can be easily halved or doubled.
  4. Be careful with hot ghee, it can cause serious burns.
  5. Keep an eye on the halwa as frequently as possible so avoid uneven browning.
  6. Stir continuously after adding the milk to avoid lumpy mix.
  7. Always cook this halwa on medium-low heat only.
  8. The mix shall bubble a lot, don’t worry. :)

The entry is for The Urban Spice Sweet September Giveaway.



Sprouts and Barley Flour Pancakes / Bajre ka Pooda

Poodas or savory pancakes are our go to breakfast after long walks. They are easy to put together and very healthy. A Pooda is basically a mix of flours, spices and water. When I was younger, mum used to make these with besan/chick pea flour, onion and green chilly. However I out-lived my love for them and had stopped eating them for good 10 years. Recently my mother in law made the most soft and delicious poodas with wheat flour. Since then there is no looking back, I am hooked with flours like bajra [pearl millet], ragi [finger millet], jowar [white millet], singhada [chestnut].

So here is one of the versions of many that we make now :)

You shall need: [Serves 4]

1/2 cup Wheat flour

200 gms steamed and mashed sprouts- I used moong sprouts. Put them in a cooker with 1/4 cup water and it shall becomes soft in 2 whistles. Mash using a spoon or fork.]

1/2 cup Bajra Flour

1/4 cup Rice flour


2 green chillies- chopped fine


Red chilly powder

1/8 cup chopped corriander



Non stick pan



  • Mix the flours, corriander and spices.
  • Add 1.2 cup water and mix, now add the sprouts mash.
  • Add more water and mix.
  • The batter should be of a pouring consistency.
  • Heat a pan, add few drops of oil.
  • Pour a ladleful of the batter on the pan and spread evenly.
  • Cook it well on a medium heat.
  • Once the lower part darkens, flip gently and continue cooking.
  • Repeat the process until the batter is done.

pooda2 (1) pooda1 (1)



2 green

Many Layer cake/Tree cake

Some days you see a picture and it stays in your mind. This picture then wants you to move ahead and give your best shot at achieving it. For me it was the picture I saw on SBS.com. This cake is a work of art and has so many delicate steps that the time at hand seems less. 2.5 hours to achieve the symmetrical layers is no joke. It is sheer love.

You shall need [Recipe adapted from SBS.com]

10 egg yolks
1.5 cups caster sugar
250 g butter, plus extra, melted (optional)
2 tsp natural vanilla extract
8 egg whites
1½ cups plain flour, sifted
3 tbsp cocoa powder mixed with 3 tbsp warm water


  • In a bowl, add the egg yolks and 1/2 cup of sugar. Beat it till it is nice fluffy and frothy.
  • In another bowl, beat the butter and 3/4 cup of sugar until it is pale and fluffy. Add in the vanilla and mix well.
  • Now in a large dry bowl, whisk the egg whites till they form stiff peaks.
  • Add the remaining sugar to the whites and mix gently.
  • Mix the egg yolk and butter mix. Fold in the sifter flour.
  • Now take a little of the whites and mix in the yolk, butter and flour mixture.
  • Now pour all the yolk mix in the whites bowl and fold it through without knocking out much air.
  • Divide the batter in two equal halves. I used 1/2 a cup measure to equally distribute.
  • Mix the cocoa and water mix in one of the batter.
  • Pre heat an oven to 160C.
  • Grease a springform pan and add a layer of butter paper/parchment paper on the bottom. [I used a 7″ pan]
  • Now pour 1/3 cup of the vanilla batter and swirl the tin to spread evenly.
  • Bake for 12 min or until the sponge springs back at you.
  • Take it out and put 1/3 cup of the batter and repeat the process.
  • Keep a brush and melted butter at hand to grease the edges each time before adding another layer. This will make sure the cake comes out clean.
  • Once the last layer is baked, insert a skewer in the center and confirm the done-ness.

Multi layer cake2 (1)

  • Let it cool to touch and remove from the pan.

Multi layer cake 4

  • Cut and serve with love.

Multi layer cake 1 (1)