Monday, January 28, 2019

Rosh Bora or RoshoBora or Rosbora-- urad dal fritter soaked in sugar syrup


January in most parts of India is very cold but this is the month when the crops are finally harvested. Hence every region in India celebrates this month with different type of sweets. Bengalis enjoy this festival with different types of Pithe or rice cakes in sweet syrup. There are different forms of Pithe and this time I chose one of the yummiest but easy to prepare recipe which is Rashbora or Rosbora. The main ingredient of this is Biulir dal / Urad dal or White split gram lentil. Urad Dal helps improve digestion, good source of protein, controls cholesterol. It is a traditional Bengali cuisine and very sweet. You can use jaggery to reduce the harmful effect of sugar. This can be prepared quickly and is very easy to prepare. Let’s get on with the recipe:-

Preparation Time: - 30 min

Cooking Time: - 40 min

Servings: - 6 persons ( depends upon individual  capacity)


For Batter
  1. 1 cup Urad Dal / Biulir Dal /White split gram dal
  2. 1 tbsp Fennel Powder
  3. 1 tsp Sugar (optional)
  4. Pinch of salt
  5. 1 tbsp grated Coconut (optional)
  6. Pinch of Baking soda (Sodium Bicarbonate or khabar soda)  (optional)
For Syrup
  1. 2 cup water
  2. 2 cup Sugar or ¾ cup Molasses/Jhola Gur/ Jaggery+1 cup Sugar or 1 ½ cup Date Palm Jaggery
  3. 4~5 pods of Green Cardamom

  1. Sufficient Vegetable oil for deep frying ( I used Sunflower oil but you can use any vegetable oil)


Make The Bora/Fritters:
  1. Wash and soak overnight the Urad Dal or Biulir Dal in little bit of water. Drain the water in the morning and use grinder to make a fine paste.

  2. Now add fennel powder (Mouri/Saunf), sugar, pinch of salt, finely grated coconut and baking soda. I do not prefer baking soda but soda makes the bora / fritters fluffy. Coconut is optional but I prefer this to enhance the taste. Use a hand blender to mix the ingredients thoroughly.

  3. Heat enough oil in a heavy-bottomed frying vessel to deep fry the Boras.

  4. When the oil is sufficiently heated with the help of a tablespoon, scoop up small portions of the batter and release in the hot oil. Deep fry them till they are golden brown. Pick them up from the oil by a strainer and place onto kitchen towel to soak the excess oil.

Make The Syrup:
  1. While you are frying the bora, start making the sugar syrup on the other burner.

  2. Take either 2 cup of sugar and equal amount of water OR 1 cup sugar + ¾  cup of grated Jaggery in a pan, mix them together till the sugar/jaggery dissolves and place the pan on high heat to make syrup. You can even use 1 ½ cup of grated Date palm Jaggery or Nalen Gur (as we Bengalis recognize) instead of sugar and jaggery.

  3. When the mixture has come to a boil, lower the heat to medium and let it simmer. Add the crushed and de-husked pods of green cardamom. After simmering for about 15 minutes the syrup will be formed.
Make The Roshbora :
  1. Soak the fried bora in the sweet syrup. The fluffy bora will soak up the syrup and become what we had started to create -- the RoshoBora or the Rosh Bora.

  2. Let them cool down completely and place the Rosboras inside the Refrigerator for some time till it soaks the syrup completely.
Remove the Rosboras from refrigerator just before the serving.

If you like the recipe, then go to my Facebook Page and like my page for regular updates.

As always please feel free to comment, criticize and seek if any help is required. I am all ears.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Happy Makar Sankranti for my readers


Best wishes of the Season. May my recipes add some happiness to your lives.

Heartiest Greetings on these auspicious days of Makar Sankranti in Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Goa, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Orissa, Sikkim, West Bengal and Indians world over.

Uttarayan for our Gujarati and Rajasthani readers.

Maghi in Haryana, and Himachal Pradesh. 

A Happy Lohri for our Punjabi readers. 

Pongal wishes to our folks in Tamil Nadu. 

Magh Bihu or Bhogali Bihu in the Assam Valley. 

Shishur Sankraat - in the Kashmir Valley. 

Happy Makara Vilakku Festival - for all our Mallu friends in Kerala. 

Khichdi ki shubhkaamnaein for all our bhai's of U.P. n Bihar. 

In Nepal-Maghe Sankranti. 

In Thailand - Songkran

In Laos - Pi Ma Lao

In Myanmar - Thingyan

In Cambodia - Moha Songkran.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Simple Homemade Cake recipe - Best for Egg or Eggless, Oven or Cooker, Vanilla or Chocolate

Well again it is winter time and I am here with another cake recipe. I made an eggless gluten-free cake last Christmas time but I never followed it up with another. The reason is I was trying to find a simple formula for making cake. After many failed experiments I believe now I have the perfect but simple recipe for homemade cakes. There are many types of cake but all of them follow the simple formula described below.

1   1. Cakes have two type of ingredients – dry and wet. The smooth mixture of both type forms the basis of any type of cake.

2    2.  We need flour as the main dry component for any cake. It can be superfine all-purpose wheat flour (Maida) for people of no preference.  We can use whole wheat flour or atta instead if you are health conscious. If you want to have Gluten free cake you can use rice flour as well.

3    3. The other must-have dry ingredient is sugar. You cannot have a cake w/o sugar. Sugar not only sweetens the taste but also keep the cake fluffy and moist. It also makes the color of cakes brown after caramelizing. There are delicious cakes for diabetic people but we will discuss it in another recipe.

4     4.  Then there are two more dry stuff – baking soda and baking powder. Either of them or a combination of them is a must for baking. The spongy fluffiness comes because of these ingredients.

5    5. Wet ingredients include melted butter or vegetable oil, milk, egg or any sweetish vegetable or fruit like carrot or banana. Vanilla essence is required to make a vanilla cake. For other variants it is optional. You can use card /yogurt instead of milk but you need to add a little bit of extra sugar.

6   6.  Now the most important part of baking is Ratio. The faulty ratio of different ingredients can make your cake super flop or super hit. Please follow the exact ratio of things as described below. You can create a smaller portion or larger portion but the ratio should be same.

The recipe below is of a simple vanilla cake but notes are there at the end for common variants like carrot cake, banana cake or chocolate ones. In fact, if you read this recipe thoroughly, you can make any type of cake with this one seamlessly.

Preparation Time: - 20 min

Cooking Time: - 25~30 min

Servings: - 4 persons (2 pieces per person)


  1. 1 cup Maida ( all-purpose Flour or cake Flour) You can use whole wheat flour to make it more healthy. You can even use the same amount of Rice Flour to have Gluten-free cake.
  2. ½ ~ ⅔ cup sugar ( ½ cup is minimum and you can have more if you have sugar tooth)  
  3. ¼ tsp Salt
  4. 1 tsp Baking Powder
  5. ½ tsp Baking soda

  1. 2 Eggs
  2. ⅓ cup Extra cream Milk
  3. ¼ cup melted Butter or any vegetable oil  (I used Sunflower oil)
  4. 1 tsp Vanilla Essence


1.    Pre heat your Oven at 180 degree Celsius or 350 degree Fahrenheit for 20 minutes. Most ovens should get the temperature on all walls and floor by 20 min. Some newer ones may have an express pre heat function which takes 10 min or so. If you do not want to use oven you can use pressure cooker – the procedure is described at the end in Notes section.
2.    If you are using butter take a small frying pan and melt the butter to liquid form.
3.   Boil the milk if you are using regular milk or you can use the tetra pack milk as well. Keep aside to cool it down.
4.    Use a mixer to crush the sugar into powder form.
5.    In a bowl mix Milk, Butter or oil, Vanilla Essence.
6.  Pour the egg into it one by one and mix well. You can use a hand blender for     smooth mixture. This is now your wet mixture.
7. Take another bowl and mix Salt, Crushed Sugar, Flour, Baking Soda and Baking Powder altogether.
8.   Use a strainer to keep any lumps out of this mixture. This is your dry mixture.
9.   Now mix both the mixtures.Use hand blender to make a smooth thick batter. Please remember to have patience here as smoother cake batter produces great cakes.
  1.  Please take a baking tin and grease with little Butter/Vegetable oil and Flour. I used  an 8 inch one. You may take any size depending on your oven size.
  2.  Pour the batter in the baking tin and put that inside the pre-heated oven.
  3.  Place the timer for 25 minutes and keep the same temperature.
  4.  Check after 25 min by inserting a toothpick / skewer inside the cake. If the baking is done properly then the toothpick will come out clean without any liquid. If not, bake for another 5 min and check the same way.
  5. Once done please keep the baking tin outside to cool it little bit say for 5 minutes.
  6. Now extract the cake carefully from the baking tin and enjoy the freshly baked homemade vanilla cake.

Serve hot or cold as per your choice as breakfast or snacks in evening. This item goes well with a cup of hot tea /coffee or without anything.

Here are some notes to use the same recipe to make other type of cakes:-
1.   You can make Egg-less cake with the same recipe but you need to either add a little more milk (make it ½ cup) or add yogurt /curd of same amount.
2.   You may not crush the sugar. Instead refined sugar or sugar powder is usable. In  fact these make the cake light. But crushed sugar helps to make smoother batter and ultimately tasty cake. Some prefer brown sugar for molasses content but again it is more suited for cookies and brownies rather than cakes. Brown sugar makes the cakes color browner.
3.   Please note that you can use pressure cooker with some stand instead of using the oven. In that case please remember to remove the gasket (rubber) and vent weight from top of the cooker. You need to spread some sand at the bottom and place the cake pan on top to create an oven like atmosphere inside the cooker and it may take up to 50 minutes to bake with a 5 Liter aluminum cooker. Also the yield will be less because of the circular shape of the cooker. Please also note that regular use of cooker for baking will make the metal weaker.
4.   You can make the Chocolate cake with the same recipe – just add approx. ⅓ cup unsweetened Cocoa powder to the dry mixture at step 6. Please do not put more as  it will make the cake taste more like brownie. You may need to increase the  amount of sugar a tad more to compensate for the bitterness of cocoa powder.

5.   You can add dry fruits like chopped almond or cashews or walnut on top of the cake batter before putting it in the oven.

6.   The same recipe can be used to make banana cake. You need to add 2 large ripe banana in mashed condition in wet mixture. Eggs may be reduced to one or even none if you use 3~4 large bananas. Milk can be reduced to ¼ cup. Some says Buttermilk goes rather well with banana cake.
7.   For Carrot cake you can just add 1 cup grated carrot to the wet mixture, reduce the no. of eggs to one or none and increase the milk to ½ cup if you are not using eggs.

Next, I will be talking about cakes for diabetic people.

As always please feel free to comment, criticize and seek if any help is required. I am all ears.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Happy New Year 2019 for my readers


Best wishes for the next year. May my current and future recipes add a little happiness to you and your family's life.