Simple Vanilla Cake

A simple vanilla cake followed by great dinner at friend’s place that is how we pretty much celebrated Father’s Day last Sunday. Speaking of Vanilla cake, it reminds me that I have not baked for a long time. If my memory serves me right it has been more than 18 months since I baked a proper cake/muffin. It was a conscious decision to stay away from flour, butter and sugar so as to not add to the waist line.

But since it was Father’s Day, a special day for the father-son duo I had to make something special. After getting repeated pleas from the kiddo I caved in and decided to bake a simple cake. The kiddo still on occasion enjoys ‘working’ in the kitchen while playing with the ingredients and the utensils. Of course there is the unwanted mess, but seeing how much he enjoys makes it all worth it.

I followed the recipe from here after seeing how easy it was to make and all ingredients available on hand. The positive reviews helped fuel my interest in trying this even more. I am glad I tried this, as it lived up to our expectations of being easy to make. Also the icing on the cake was that it turned out super soft just like a store bought one. 

While we are not too fond of the real icing, I skipped that part and simply dusted it with powdered sugar. This made a good accompaniment with our afternoon coffee. Overall an effort well spent in the kitchen with desired results.

Adapted from: All Recipes

 Makes 6 servings 

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter (room temperature)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk 


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a pan or line a muffin pan with paper liners. (I used mini bundt pans for this).
  • Take a bowl and then cream together the sugar and butter.
  • Beat the egg and mix well and then stir in the vanilla.
  • In another bowl mix flour, baking powder. Add this to the creamed mixture in batches and mix well.
  • Stir in the milk little by little and mix until batter is smooth.
  • Pour or spoon the batter in the prepared pan. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven.
  • For cupcakes, bake only for 20 to 25 minutes. Cake is done when a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.


Sweet Corn Vegetable Soup

Sweet corn soup is one of our favorite soups to order at an Indian restaurant. Thick and creamy with a healthy dose of vegetables it is a great way to start a meal. It is an Indian Chinese soup recipe which can be easily made at home using fresh or canned corn and few other ingredients.

I decided to make this at home for an Indo Chinese style potluck dinner. I received guidance from her about the procedure and she suggested using cream style canned corn. Cream style corn has a good amount of crushed corn and it helped in bringing in the right taste and the desired creamy consistency. 

Just a quick note, since I had put in some soy sauce and ketchup the color has turned pale yellow otherwise it was white to begin with.

Adapted from: Show Me the Curry 


  • 1 can cream style corn
  • 1 can vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp ginger (grated)
  • 1 tsp garlic (minced)
  • ¼ cup carrot (finely chopped)
  • ¼ cup celery (finely chopped)
  • 2 Tbsp onions (chopped)
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper powder (taste)
  • 2 tsp corn starch (mixed with ¼ cup water)
  • 2 green onions (chopped diagonally including the whites) 


  • Heat oil in a medium saucepan (preferable non-stick) and then add the ginger and garlic and cook until it turns light brown.
  • Add the chopped onion and cook until it turns translucent.
  • Add the celery and carrots, little salt and sauté for 2 minutes until the carrot cooks a bit.
  • Now open the cream style corn can and add this to the mixture. Mix and add salt and pepper.
  • Note: Clean the can with little water and scrape any corn paste add the contents to this mixture.
  • Add the vegetable stock, mix well and bring it to a boil.
  • Meanwhile in a small cup make a paste of corn starch and water with no lumps.
  • Add this to the soup and cook again.
  • Garnish with spring onions (green part) and serve hot. 

Seasoned Broken Wheat with Yogurt

What could be more cooling than seasoned yogurt rice? Having grown up in the South of India, where yogurt rice or curd rice is so ubiquitous and being accustomed to the taste our meal is not complete without a small bowl of yogurt rice.

I have experimented quite a bit with broken wheat and prepared kheer, sweet pongal and also spicy pongal all with good results. So this broken wheat with yogurt is an extension to that experiment; thankfully with desirable outcome. This is very easy to prepare, cool for the body and so nutritious. Yogurt is mixed to the already cooked broken wheat and aptly seasoned with regular tadka ingredients. Taste wise I did not feel any difference as compared to the regular yogur rice; however you may feel a difference in the texture.

Adapted from: Blend With Spices


  • 3/4 cup broken wheat/dalia
  • 2 cups of yogurt ( I used low fat)
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds/jeera
  • ½ tsp urad daal
  • 2-3 green chillies(slit and chopped)
  • 2-3 dried red chillies (cut into bits)
  • 5-10 curry leaves
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tsp oil


  • Boil two cups of water, add salt and add the cracked wheat to it. This does not take a long time to cook, partially cover with lid, stirring so that it does not stick to the bottom and then turn off the flame. Drain any remaining water and set aside.
  • After it has cooled completely transfer it to a plate.
  • Meanwhile beat the yogurt well in a bowl making sure there are no lumps. Add little milk or water if required, to get to the correct consistency.
  • Add this yogurt, chopped green chillies to the boiled dalia and mix well.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and let it splutter. Add urad daal and mix until it turns light brown.
  • Add the curry leaves, broken red chillies and fry briefly. Switch off the heat and let it cool down.
  • Add this to the yogurt dalia and mix well. Let this seasoning marinade well with yogurt for about an hour before serving.