Almond Thumbprint cookies with cherry jam


This time of the year is always my favorite time. Holiday season means cookie swaps, food bloggers swap and many more things related to food. Since few years, I have been participating in food bloggers cookie swap. It is exciting to be part of such a big swap happening in the blogging world. We have to sign up to be included and then you receive three different bloggers to send cookies to. And, three other bloggers send us cookies. Since, I had signed up I was thinking everyday  what cookie to send out and also try out for myself. After giving a lot of thought finally decided to make almond thumbprint cookies since I saw them here.

I am so glad I decided to make these. They are so delicious. I already had cherry jam at home which I had preserved just about when the cherry season was going away. And, also because I wanted to gift some homemade stuff to friends and family specially my niece in India. You know, she just started eating real food. When you will read this post, I would already snuggling my cute niece in India.



Now, on to the recipe.


Cookie dough

1½ cups all-purpose flour

1½ cups unsalted, roasted almonds

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

½ cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup raw sugar

1 or 2 pint Cherry Jam

Cherry Jam

4 cups cherries

2 cups sugar

¼ cup sugar free pectin (preferably fruit pectin)




Cherry Jam

Take chopped cherries in a deep non-reactive pot along with sugar and few tablespoons of water about 3 tablespoons. Let it cook on medium to high flame for about 10 minutes and then add the pectin and let it cook for about another 20 minutes. While cooking the jam, if you see foamy liquid rising up, please remove that with the help of a spoon. Meanwhile keep an empty spoon in the fridge to test out the consistency of jam we will need to use it. Once, you feel that it has cooked for some time and is coming along. Drop some of it on the cold spoon and let it sit for few seconds and then see if it thickens and is not runny on the spoon, it’s done. If it looks a little runny, then cook it for few more minutes. Make sure throughout the whole process, keep stirring it. Do not forget to stir it or else it might burn or stick to the bottom of the pot. I like to keep the fruits in the jam and not blend it into smooth jam consistently. I like pieces of fruits in my bites. You can top it off cheese, or blend it into smoothies, top it off your yogurt parfait. You can use it in many different ways.

You can always double the recipe or make it in half the quantities that I prepared. It makes about 9 pint sized bottles. If you plan on making large quantities then want to check it out here how to can and preserve the jams safely.




Preheat oven to 350 F. Line up almonds in a baking tray and roast them for about 5-7 minutes. Take them out of the oven and let them cool down. Meanwhile, keep the oven still on 350 F. You can follow this step ahead and keep the roasted almonds ready. Once cooled down, pulse them with all purpose flour in a food processor until the almonds are very finely ground. If you already have almond meal at home, you can skip this step and instead proceed to mix it with all- purpose flour and the other dry ingredients.

Mix in the baking powder and salt to this mix. Keep it aside.

Using an electric hand mixer cream the butter and sugar on high speed for few minutes until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, along with vanilla and mix it well. Blend in the dry ingredients at slow speed just until everything comes together.

At this point if you wish, you can store the cookie dough in the refrigerator or proceed to make the cookies. In a bowl take some raw sugar, if you do not have raw sugar you can use regular white sugar. I did the same as unfortunately I was out of raw sugar. But, if you can use raw sugar it would be best idea to use it. Take tablespoon full of dough and roll out balls. Roll them in the raw sugar and place them on a parchment lined baking tray or on a silpat mat.

Then, bake for 5 minutes and then take them out and carefully make an indent in the middle of each cookie. Do not burn yourself, it might be slightly hot. Bake for another 10 minutes until they are golden in color and let them cool on a wire rack. Once completely cooled off, you can top it off with your choice of jam or curd. I love the combination of cherry and almonds but you can try any other combinations like fruit curds.

Recipe adapted from here.




I would really like to thank you fbcookieswap for allowing me to participate and also to brand partners OXO for sending us these cute liquid measuring beakers and Dixie Crystals for the silpat mat. I would enjoy baking more now.

Also check out my Instagram account for all the delicious cookies that I received through. There are some amazing talented bloggers.

Please enjoy! Hope you like it! Happy holidays.


Kadhi Pakora – savoury dumplings in yogurt sauce

Follow my blog with Bloglovin


Kadhi Pakora is one the comfort dishes to make during cold winter months because it is best served hot or warm. I really love to make it because its quick and hardly demands extra ingredients. You would find most of the ingredients in an Indian household. But, in case if you do not have everything on hand, you can always plan ahead to make it. It has slight tanginess from the yogurt and lemon and creaminess from the yogurt and chickpea flour. By the way chickpea flour is also gluten free.


Let’s talk about how it is prepared.



1 cup Chickpea flour or besan

2 tsp red chili powder

1 tsp turmeric powder

Pinch of baking soda

Salt to taste

¼ cup finely chopped onions

Oil for deep frying

The yogurt gravy – Kadhi

1 cup yogurt

2 tbsp chickpea flour or besan

3 tbsp oil

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp mustard seeds

Pinch of asafetida

1-2 whole red chilies

2 tsp Red chili powder

1 tsp turmeric powder

Salt to taste

2 tsp  kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) optional

Juice from ½ a lemon

Cilantro leaves to garnish

DSC_8566 1

DSC_8571 2


Take chickpea flour in a bowl, add the dry ingredients and finely chopped onions and add some water to make a thick consistency. I would say start with little water then add more if you need more after mixing it and if the batter does not come together.

We do not want runny batter. These would be the dumplings for the gravy. Heat some oil in a deep pan on medium flame, one by one with the help of a spoon drop dollops of batter and deep fry these dumplings until they have nice light golden color to them. Do not keep the oil very hot otherwise they will brown quickly but will not cook from inside and stay raw.

Remove them on absorbent paper.

Meanwhile, in another pan heat up some oil at slow to medium range; add cumin seeds and mustard seeds. Let them crackle and then add asafetida if you have some on hand, if you do not have its okay. Also, if you want to make it gluten free then please do not use asafetida. Add some whole red chilies to it. And, immediately add the whisked yogurt mix with chickpea flour. Add about 1 ½ of cup water. Mix it well.

Add some red chili powder, turmeric powder and salt to taste. Let it cook for few minutes and keep stirring it once in awhile. Add crushed dried fenugreek leaves. If the gravy thickens up too much then you can add some water. Eventually , it will thicken up after its done.

Keep the flame slow. Add the dumplings and let it cook for couple of more minutes. If you are not ready to serve it immediately then add dumplings only when you are ready to serve in order to keep them from not becoming soggy.

10 minutes before you are ready to serve; warm up the gravy along with the dumplings. At the end, add some lemon juice and garnish it with cilantro leaves.

Serve it hot with Basmati rice or any type of bread like naan or roti. Enjoy!

DSC_8573 3

Mango Cheesecake

We are already close to the holidays. I guess its everyone’s favorite time of the year. I just love fall so much. The leaves changing its colors and everything looks orange, brown, mustard, yellow and cherry colored.The cold crisp mornings which makes you want to cuddle your favorite blanket  and sleep some more. I can’t believe its fall, time flies really fast. I can’t stop thinking about our awesome trip to France and Italy this year and here we are already ready to celebrate thanksgiving.

Everyone is just talking about pumpkin and apples. And here I am giving you a recipe of one of the best and easiest cheesecake. A mango cheesecake that I made few days ago.

This recipe does not really use fresh mango pulp  so you can make it any time of the year.????????????????????????????????????

Let’s talk about the recipe.

Mango Cheesecake

Ingredients:  8″inch


1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumb

1 tbsp sugar

pinch of salt

4 tbsp butter


2 – 8 ounces packet of cream cheese (room temperature)

1 cup sour cream

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 1/3 cup sugar

1 ½ cup mango pulp (I use the one available at Indian grocery stores)

4 eggs

pinch of salt

2 – 3 tbsp corn starch


1 cup Sour cream

3 tbsp sugar

¼ cup mango pulp

Any other garnishes


Before starting to prepare the cheesecake, make sure you line your springform pan with foil very tightly sealing the edges of the pan. Because we will be baking it in another pan filled with water and want to make sure the water does not seep into it. Don’t do it only once, we need to do it double or if needed triple rounds of foil. There are chances that one seal is not enough and specially while transforming it to another pan it might create holes in the foil. So,if you use more layers of foil it is better.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Take the graham crackers in a food processor or I used a small coffee grinder as I do not have a food processor. Grind it to fine powder. Take it out in a bowl and add in the sugar , salt and melted butter to it and mix it well.

Once it is mixed well dump everything in the springform pan and start pressing it down with the help of a your fingers or use back of the flat small bowl. Let some of the crumbs cover the sides not all the way up but just a little bit. Place it gently in the oven and let it bake for about 8-10 minutes at 350 F. After 10 minutes take it out and let it cool down and meanwhile work on the filling.

Take the room temperature cream cheese in a kitchen aid mixer. It is easier to work with cream cheese if it is at room temperature. With the paddle attachment let the cream cheese break down and then add the sugar little by little, mix it well. Add the salt as well. Once it is nicely mixed add in the eggs one at a time and keep mixing and scraping the bowl after every new ingredient to make sure that it is not sticking to the bottom of the mixing bowl.Beat in sour cream and beat it until incorporated. Once sour cream is added go ahead and add the heavy cream and mix it until everything comes together. At the very end add the mango pulp and mix until everything is incorporated well. Also if you plan to use corn starch add it at this time; which by the way I forgot to add in this recipe.

Boil some water. Keep your foiled 8″ inch pan with the graham crackers in a deep rectangular 2″-3 “inch high baking dish or roasting pan. Be careful while doing this so as to keep the springform pan intact.

Pour all the cream cheese filling into the prepared pan over the graham cracker base. Keep the roasting pan or the deep baking dish alongwith the cheesecake pan into the oven and add the hot water carefully in the roasting pan covering about 1 inch of the springform from the sides. Do not drop any water into the cheesecake.

Bake it at 325 F for about 1 1/2 – 2 hours.

Turn off the oven and keep the door of the oven slightly open and let the cake cool in the oven for about one hour. I learnt this tip from various bakers that it would help prevent the cracks on the cheesecake.

Cover it and keep it in the fridge for some time or overnight before serving.

When the cake has rested in the fridge, prepare to cover it with sour cream topping.


Take sour cream, mango pulp ,sugar in a bowl and mix it well with whisk.

Remove the cake from the fridge and gently try to remove it from the edges first with the help of a knife or use hair dryer on outside of the spring form pan to loosen it. Remove the springform pan and release the cake and place it on a serving plate.

Top it off with generous amount of sour cream topping. If you are in the mood of adding some whipped cream , nuts or fresh fruits go ahead and do so. I was eager to take a few snaps for the blog and stuff my face with that delicious looking cheesecake. Honestly, it was really really delicious cheesecake. I took some to work for my colleagues and they all loved it. The texture was extremely creamy.

Your cheesecake is ready to be served!

Bon Appetite!


If you try this recipe please leave me comments.


Peach and Blueberry Galette

IMG_6270I can’t believe it’s already August. I can’t see summer going away slowly. I know still there is time to fall and winter. But, I kind of want to stay back and enjoy  summer more. I want enjoy more summer bounty. I haven’t yet had my fill of tomatoes, corn and berries. Time flies so quickly. My niece who was born in December is already 7 months old, in January we were still planning our summer vacation which we took in May to France and Italy. Although, I don’t want winter to come fast, I do want to be in December so that I can see my niece in person.

Last month in July, I attended BlogHer15 Conference. It was one fun event. I met so many different type of  bloggers and brands. I had never thought that so many people actually blog. It is so good to put face to their names, some of them I had known virtually. I would really like to thank Blogher. And, the swag that you get from brands is just awesome. If you follow me on instagram you would have already seen some of the fun that I had at Blogher15.

I learnt so much from the conference, so you will see some changes real soon. Did you notice the blog got a new look?

DSC_8509 edited

Alright, let’s talk about the galette recipe. Who doesn’t love peaches and blueberry? Right, I recently came across this cool recipe that I fell in love with after seeing the picture. So, I had to try it. Although, I feel you don’t need a recipe for galette. It’s one of those dessert that you can make it without a recipe.

I had both peach and blueberry at home that I bought from Farmer’s Market; so I decided to make it Blueberry and Peach Galette.
DSC_8485 editedRecipe adapted from Jacques Pepin and


Pate Brisee or the base

1 1/2 cup All purpose flour

1 stick cold chunks of butter (original recipe used 1 1/2 stick, but I did not have enough butter and also I was afraid of using so much butter).

1/4 tsp sugar

1/3 cup ice cold water

Filling :

1/4 cup sugar

3 tbsp almond meal or ground almond

3 tbsp potato starch or all purpose flour

1/4 cup Honey + 2 tbsp sugar for fruits

2 to 3 peaches sliced

1 1/2 cup blueberries

apricot or any other fruit preserve to glaze

tbsp of milk to brush the edges

DSC_8487 edited

 DSC_8488 edit


To make the base, take flour, salt, and the butter in the food processor and pulse it for few seconds, the butter should still be seen.Then add ice cold water and pulse for another few seconds. If you do not have a food processor you can make it with hands also. Just make sure you cut the butter in the flour and add water and roughly get the dough together. You want to be able to see the butter cold and in pieces. Wrap it in a plastic wrap and keep it in the fridge while you prepare the filling.

First, let the fruits macerate with sugar in a bowl.

Then take another bowl, add the flour or potato starch, almond meal, sugar and mix well. Add a pinch of salt as well. I like a little bit of salt in all the layers. Just a little.

DSC_8490 edit

Assemble the galette –  Preheat the oven at 400 F . Take the base out of the fridge, beat it with the rolling pin a couple of times and then roll it into a big round shape. By beating it rolling pin it really softens it a little bit needed for rolling it and also in pies and all it develops gluten. Make sure the it is rolled equally from all sides.

Fill it with the almond mix and spread it evenly. Leave the edges as shown in the picture for folding the galette. Top it with the fruits and reserve the liquid from the fruits for later use. Drizzle the honey all over the fruits.

Then fold the edges, towards the filling. Don’t worry if it cracks a little bit. Just wait for few minutes for the dough to soften up or just try to seal it well. Press it well onto the fruits.

Brush the edges with milk and sprinkle some sugar about 1 tsp or so on the edges.

Keep it in the preheated oven for about 45- 1 hour until the fruit is bubbly and the crusts looks nicely browned.

Remove it from the oven, brush the fruit preserves all over the galette. And, once it cools down serve it with vanilla ice cream or creme fraiche.


DSC_8497 editedDSC_8501 editedDSC_8499 edited

Dal Dhokli – Indian style pasta in dal

editedIt’s been so hot these days, but who am I complaining to. I love summer for all the reasons – sun, fresh fruits and vegetables, bbq. Sometimes, you just don’t want to go into the kitchen. But, there are days where if you have prepared half of the recipe in advance, you have less hassle and can enjoy things you love to eat.

One of those dishes I love is Dal Dhokli. It’s an Indian dish cooked by the people of Gujarat region. It is a comfort dish. But, if you love something so much you can also prepare it in summers. You can sweat a little bit.

The dish has pasta made from ingredients like turmeric and red chili powder. Even though it had red chili it isn’t spicy. It does give itself some flavor which is absolutely good.Instead of pasta cooked in tomato gravy, this one is cooked in dal. It really tastes great specially if you like dal and pasta.

roti picIngredients for the pasta:

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder

1 teaspoon turmeric powcder

2 teaspoons coriander/cumin powder

 pinch of asafoetida (optional)

2 tablespoons of sesame seeds

salt to taste

3 tablespoons of oil

1 cup water or little more

rolled outMethod:

Take flour, dry ingredients and mix it well using kitchen aid mixer with dough hook. Add oil and water gradually; make dough. The dough should not be too soft or too stiff.

Divide the dough into equal big golf sized balls. Roll it out with a rolling pin in round flat shape. You can also use pasta maker, I used rolling pin to roll the dough and then cut them into diamond or square shape. If you are rolling with rolling pin make sure the dough is not too thin or too thick. And, keep the shape equal as far as possible so that they cook equally.

rollIngredients for the dal base:

1 ½ cups boiled dry yellow pigeon peas /tuver dal

1 tbsp oil

1 tsp mustard seeds

Pinch of asafetida

Few sprigs Curry leaves

3 to 4 cloves garlic paste

1 tsp ginger paste

1 green chili finely chopped

1 tomato chopped in small pieces

3 to 4 dates

2 tbsp peanuts

1 ½ tsp Red chili powder

1 tsp Turmeric powder

1 to 1 ½ tsp Jaggery

Coriander and lemon to garnish

DalIn the picture above, I forgot to keep jaggery. Jaggery is very commonly used in Indian households. It is better substitute to sugar. It is pure form of sugar. Gujarati’s use jaggery a lot in cooking and in desserts as well.


Take oil in a pan, once it heats up add mustard seeds, curry leaves and asafetida. Then add ginger, garlic and chili paste. Saute it for a couple of minutes. Then add the tomatoes, peanuts and spices.

Meanwhile, on the other side let the dal mixture simmer for sometimes in a deep pot and add the pasta in it and let it boil.Add more water in the beginning, it will reduce as you cook the dal. Once the masala is ready , simply add it to the dal and pasta mix. Or you can do vice versa, add the dal/pasta mix into the spice mixture. Add the jaggery and chopped dates. Let it cook for about 20-25 minutes or until the pasta is soft and cooked. Add more water if needed in the dal mixture because dal can get thick easily as you simmer it. 

plated dhokliGarnish it with some tomatoes, dates and cilantro if you have it on hand. I like a little spicy food; so I went ahead with some chilli oil. If you like drizzle some lemon also. It is a perfect melange of sweet, sour and spice. Traditionally we drizzle some  peanut oil or a dollop of ghee and enjoy the dish.

Hope you give it a try!

side cut