Plum Cake -Goan Black Cake

20 Nov

Frankly speaking Goan Plum Cake has nothing to do with plums. I do not know the history as how it was named but I do know that  it still is a very popular cake in Goa. The almost black cake has a flavor of candied orange rinds, blackened sugar and is dense. It smells and taste very close to the Italian Panettone Bread except it has a cake texture. I enjoy eating this cake for evening tea and it’s on my must have list to bring back from Goa. This recipe has been on my to-do list for a long time. Trying to search for the recipe online was not easy as the search only showed the Famous Goan fruit cake which is made with brandy or rum, dry fruits and nuts. But they were listed as Plum cake. For a Goan born and raised in Goa we sure can tell the difference in recipe.




As it is that time of the year where costco has a lot of panettone bread I bought some, kept eating and reading the ingredients to guess what the recipe would be. It took me a couple of attempts including adding molasses which was not a really good idea before I got the recipe right. Like I said before, for recipes that I do not know I use my memories of that dish, the way it smells, taste and texture. I am so happy to finally almost nail the recipe. Plum cake is an everyday cake usually served when friends and family drop by. It is a non boozy cake unlike the Goan fruit cake which may look close but has a few more ingredients. It is cut in about 9 x 4″ rectangle with the burnt edges trimmed and wrapped in plastic wrap and sold at bakeries and Tea Cafe’s.goan-plum-cake-recipe-collage-of-ingredients

Serving Size: 9 inch loaf pan


Black Caramel Syrup – Make 30 minutes ahead and let cool

1/2 cup sugar

3 tbsp of water

Cake Batter

1 cup flour

1 tsp of baking powder

1 stick soft butter

2 eggs

1/2- 3/4 cups sugar ( I used only 1/3 cup + 2 tbsp, I prefer less sugar)

1/4 cup raisins

1/4 cup candied orange rinds

1/4 cup tutti-frutti or candied fruit

1/2 tsp of vanilla  (optional)


On medium heat in a heavy bottom pan add the 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tbsp of water and heat till the sugar becomes black about 4-6 minutes.

Keep a close eye not to over burn.

Carefully add the remaining water and gently stir till the caramelized sugar turns to syrup.

Take of heat and let cool completely.

Heat oven to 385F.

Grease a loaf pan.

With a hand mixer mix sugar, eggs and softened butter till creamy. Next add the cooled sugar syrup and dried fruits and mix well.

Finally add the flour and baking powder to the batter and mix well.

Pour it in the pan and bake for 26-28 minutes till a toothpick comes out clean.


Let cool, trim the edges and enjoy with a nice cup of tea.

You can also wrap the cake in saran wrap and refrigerate for 2-3 weeks.


Sticky Chicken 65

13 Nov

I came across a Chicken 65 Recipe online sometime last week. It brought back great memories from my college days. About that time it was just starting to surface on restaurant menu’s and parties and getting to be a popular appetizer. But it is always the first time when you like something that is the impression you remember. I have tried it a couple of times after I came to the US but there was always something amiss. It either was dry, lacked seasoning or sweetness. When I started to search for the recipe I was surprised to find that it was a popular street food in south Indian. My understanding for the longest time was an Indo-Chinese recipe. A cross between tandoori and chicken manchurian.


The fried red chicken pieces is very distinctive of chicken 65. I do not recall ever making this recipe. Mind you, I started my cooking adventures at an early age of 9.  My first recipe being mixed vegetable soup and then experimenting with beef, prawns/shrimp and chicken and other types of soups. For a couple of years my Christmas gifts were cook books. Stuffed tomatoes, meat pies made with Maggie noodle as a base, Indo-Chinese recipes and desserts followed. I was fortunate to have a very supporting family who enjoyed my home cooked foods, specially my dad and brother.


For any recipe that I cannot remember too well I tend to go by my memory of taste, texture and smell. Trying to search for the recipe for Chicken65 I could not find anyone that struck a chord. Going with my gut and the number of recipes I saw online this is my version knowing that I may be called out on the ingredients. The wise-nut that I am, I decide to appropriately name it as Sticky Chicken 65. These deep-fried puppies get tossed in a light sweet and sour gravy. They are served dry or wet but I like them wet. I have also replaced the artificial red food color with natural vegetable color (paprika and turmeric). My recipe also has no eggs and white flour. To soften and keep the meat moist the meat was marinated in plain yogurt.


Serving Size: 4-6



1 lbs of boneless chicken meat diced in 1″ cubes

1/4 tsp pepper powder

1/8 tsp turmeric powder

1/2 tsp of cumin powder

1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste

2 tbsp plain yogurt

1 tbsp of paprika

Salt to taste


4 tbsp of cornflour

1 sprig of curry leaves

Sticky Sauce

1/3 cup of diced bell-pepper

1 tbsp of ginger-garlic paste

3-4 tbsp of ketchup

1/4 tsp of cornflour

1/3 cup water

salt to taste


Wash the chicken, cut in 1 inch cubes. Apply ginger-garlic paste,pepper,turmeric, paprika, yogurt and salt. Marinate overnight if possible or 1-2 hours least.

Mix the cornflour to coat the pieces of meat. Heat oil in a pan and deep fry the piece for 4-5 minutes till done. Drain on paper towel. Once done quickly fry the curry leaves and toss them with the deep-fried chicken pieces.

You can serve it dry or for a sticky coating follow the below steps.

Next heat another pan, saute the bell-pepper about a minute.

Next add the ginger-garlic paste and saute for 30 seconds.

Then add the ketchup, cornflour, water and saute till the gravy thickens.

Finally toss in the fried chicken pieces and enjoy it hot.


Creamy Mushroom and Peas Curry

6 Nov

Last couple week’s I wanted to make a creamy curry recipe but was just being lazy. As I consume more vegetables than rice, I am constantly looking for variations in my recipes. But most often I windup making cabbage soup. So searching online I came across a south Indian Mushroom and Pea’s Recipe that I altered to my taste and made it more efficient.


This recipe calls for first sauteing the vegetables separately and then cooking it in the curry. Secondly the curry is made by grinding coconut and cashews, I added some heavy cream towards the end. The cream tones the spiciness if you do not like spicy foods. Also as and Indian we love pasta but with a tad bit of spice, this is another way you can use the creamy Mushroom Pea Curry.


Serving: 8-10


16 oz of white/brown mushrooms

2 cups fresh/frozen peas

1 medium onion chopped

1 medium tomato chopped

3 cloves garlic

1/2″ ginger

1/2 cup fresh/frozen grated coconut

10-12 cashew nut’s

1/2 tsp of turmeric powder

1/2 tsp of mustard seeds

1/2 tsp of cumin seeds

1/4 tsp of fenugreek seeds

1 tsp of grama masala

1 tsp of coriander powder

1.5 cups of water

pinch of sugar

Salt to taste

1/4 tsp of chili powder (optional)

3 tbsp of cold heavy cream (optional)



Wash the mushrooms and cut them into quarters, length wise.

Grind coconut, ginger, garlic and cashews to a paste, keep aside.

Heat oil in a pot and add the mustard, cumin and fenugreek seeds till it splutter. Next add the chopped onions and saute till soft.

Follow with chopped tomatoes till they soften then add the turmeric, chili, garam masala, coriander powder and saute for 1 to 2 minutes. Next add the ground paste, saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the water, salt and sugar cover and bring the curry/gravy to a boil.

Finally add the peas and mushrooms, check on seasoning and cook on medium heat for 10-15 minutes covered. Finally add cold heavy cream for the last-minute or two.

Garnish with curry leaf or fresh chopped cilantro/coriander.


Enjoy with plain rice, roti or bread.

Baked Pumpkin Pudding

30 Oct

My kids and I enjoy pumpkin desserts and since it is raining pumpkins, I decided to jump on board. Ever since my kids have figured that mom can bake, they now think I am a 24/7 bakery. My oldest wanted me to bake a pumpkin pie. But mom always has wise plans, I wanted to skip the pie crust ;-) My first try wasn’t as successful but I think for my taste the second try worked out well. I balanced the pie-crust calories by replacing milk with heavy cream :-)


This recipe does not have the trilogy of pumpkin spices but just nutmeg. If you love eggnog with its bold flavor of nutmeg then I am sure you will enjoy this pumpkin pudding recipe. My puddings are not overly sweet and I do not use a water bath to bake it.



Serving: 4-6 ramekins or 9″ pie pan


2 cups pumpkin puree

4 whole eggs

6-8 tbsp of raw sugar

1/2 tsp of freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 cup heavy cream

pinch of salt


Heat oven to 350F

Cream sugar, nutmeg, salt and eggs.

Next add the cream. Mix well.

Finally add the pumpkin puree.

Spray your pie pan or ramekins. Pour in the mixture. Place the bake-ware on a cookie sheet and bake for 35-40 minute till a toothpick comes clean.

Let cool and then refrigerate for 1-4 hrs.

Serve with some home-made whipped cream and pumpkin seeds.


Love Pumpkin, then here are some more recipes you can check out Creme Brulee in Mini-Pumpkin’s Recipe here. Also a Creamy Pumpkin Curry Recipe with coconut milk.

Creme Brulee in Mini Pumpkin | Goan Imports

Please feel free to share your Pumpkin Recipe’s in the comment section :-)

Punjabi Chana or Chole Bhature – Garbanzo Beans Curry

23 Oct

I ate my first Punjabi Chole Bhature only after I came to the US as it was a popular dish in most Indian Restaurants. Goan’s make something similar with split green peas and same deep-fried bread called Puri (bhatura).  My husband had been saying he wanted to eat some Chana Batura for a couple of weeks till we had friends visit who said they had just eaten some. Feeling bad for him I decided to make it the next day for Sunday Lunch. I did experiment with the Bhatura(puri/fried bread) using unbleached whole wheat flour. They turned out soft and puffy which surprised me since it was my first attempt at making them from scratch. The flip side, I did not keep a track of the measures. So I will have to share the bhatura (fried bread) recipe at a different time.




It is a perfect vegan recipe. You can also substitute the beans with chicken and make an incredible Chicken Curry. This recipe may get you overwhelmed by the sheer variations in spices but trust me it is worth every bit. My fussy 5-year-old enjoys it every time I make it. You can skip the chili and it still has lots of flavor.


Ps Note: This recipe is prefect for the home cook’s who likes to be in charge of quality control :-)  I cooked my own beans using a pressure cooker. The reason I did that is because I came across an article that was published recently about cancer causing foods in America. Canned foods and excessive salt were named along with some more foods. If you are a new owner of a pressure cooker then you should add this recipe to your list.


Serving Size: 6-8

Boiling Chana/Garbanzo in a Pressure Cooker


  • 2 cups dried chana/chickpea/garbanzo beans or 5 cans of low sodium garbanzo beans.
  • 5-6 cups water
  • 1 tbsp of salt


Soak the chana/kabuli overnight. Drain the water. In a pressure cooker add the soaked chana, salt and enough water to cover the beans about 5-6 cups of water.

Pressure cook for 6-7 whistle about 35-45 minutes.

Take of heat and let stand till all the steam is released and it is safe to open the cooker.  (Please for your safety follow this step.) 

Whole Spices

  • 2 bay leaf
  • 5 green cardamom
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 2″ cinnamon stick

Wet Paste

  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1″ ginger
  • 1 green chili (optional)

Powder Spices

  • 1 tbsp of coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp of dry mango/ amchoor powder
  • 1 tsp of red chili powder
  • 1 tsp of turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp of garam masala powder
  • pinch of asafoedita
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Salt to taste


Grind the wet ingredients with no water. Keep aside.

Heat oil in a separate pan. Add whole spices till the oil becomes fragrant.

Next add wet paste and saute till the oil starts to leave the side of the paste. About 10-13 minutes.

To this add the powder spices, saute for 1-2 minutes till it mixes well.

You either can transfer the spice paste to the pressure cooker, add water, season with salt and cook it for 2 more whistle.

OR If using the same pan add the water, salt and chana to the pan and cook for another 20 minutes on medium heat covered.


Serve with hot bhature or with rice and a side of onions marinated with pickle.


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