Tag Archives: Fast and Simple

Chocolate Layer Cake (Gluten-free, Eggless, Oil-free)

The cake does not have oil or fat, does not have gluten, and has no eggs. Okay, it does not have anything worthwhile. Don’t make it. But, yes. If you want to eat cake guilt-free, and you want to enjoy chocolate in its most delicious form, then make this. (I have made a similar cake earlier too).

This is another version.

glutenfree-cake_1 glutenfree-cake_2


  1. 5 cups Oat Flour
  2. 5 cups Milk (room temp)
  3. 1/8 cup sugar
  4. ½ cup cocoa powder
  5. 10 dates, pitted
  6. 1 tbspn baking powder


  1. 125 g Coconut cream (room temp)
  2. 75 g powdered sugar
  3. Chocolate chips (dark/milk/white)


  • Preheat the oven to 180 C
  • In a small microwave-safe bowl, place the dates and warm them in the microwave for 30 seconds, just to soften them.
  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, add the flour, baking powder, sugar and cocoa powder, and mix them thoroughly.
  • In a blender, place the softened dates and milk, and blitz till a loose paste/liquid is formed.
  • Mix the liquid into the flour mixture, and fold gently till everything is combined.
  • Line a 4-inch tin with parchment and bake for 25-30 minutes, till a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • For the frosting, take room temp coconut cream, combine the powdered sugar gently, and spread the mixture between the layers and, also on the top.
  • Top off the cake with chocolate chips.
  • Serve chilled or after an hour or so, leaving the cake to set.



  1. Use any dates you can lay your hands on.
  2. The measurement of the ingredients make 1 cake. So, if you want another layer, repeat the process.
  3. Powdered brown sugar also works well.

Spinach + Apple w/ Nutty Pesto


spinach green apple 6

A small experiment turns really delicious with this salad. I used the spinach we grew in our balcony. And here is the result of that. The leaves were not yet mature; but they were not baby-ish too. So, these are ‘young’ spinach leaves.


spinach 2 spinach 3

Spinach crop 3

spinach green apple 2


spinach green apple 3



  1. 300 g fresh spinach leaves
  2. 1 green apple (preferably)
  3. 4-5 black olives
  4. 5 cashew nuts
  5. 5 hazel nuts
  6. 5 almonds
  7. Half a handful of parsley
  8. 3 garlic cloves
  9. Salt and fresh ground black pepper
  10. Extra virgin olive oil


–        Wash and dry the fresh spinach that you have, and if possible, place the leaves wrapped in plastic or just a brown paper bag, in the fridge, for about 30 minutes. (try not to drain the water completely after you have washed the leaves)

–        Wash, peel (optionally), and chop the apple into mediocrely thin wedges

–        To make the dressing, wash the parsley and place the leaves in a processor, with all the nuts, garlic cloves, and salt.

–        As you process add tspns of water and more tspns of olive oil. When your dressing is completely emulsified in the oil, and looks thick, it is done.

–        Arrange you salad by placing the apple wedges, spinach leaves and olives (pitted) in a large bowl, and then pouring the dressing over. Mix well with your hands and serve immediately, with an extra helping of olive oil.

Cauliflower-Bulgur Upma (Sans Semolina/Vermicelli)


Upma is a southern Indian breakfast/snack dish that is generally made with semolina or vermicelli. In more recent times, semolina and vermicelli have been substituted with bulgur wheat and broken wheat. But the basic recipe remains the same. For lunch today, I made cauliflower bulgur and made upma with it.

I generally leave tomato seeds and skins on for such dishes, but if you like, go ahead and skin and deseed the tomatoes. If you like a drier upma, I suggest you deseed the tomatoes, and preferably add them half way through the whole cooking process.

  1. 300 g cauliflower, washed and chopped roughly
  2. 1 large bell pepper, washed and chopped finely
  3. 1 medium sized red onion, finely chopped
  4. 2 or 3 medium sized tomatoes, finely chopped
  5. 4 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
  6. ¼ inch or a small amount of fresh ginger, chopped finely
  7. 2 green chillies, finely chopped
  8. 1 tspn mustard seeds
  9. 1 tspn cumin seeds
  10. Extra virgin olive oil
  11. Salt
  12. A pinch of turmeric

–        In a large pan on heat, pour a tspn of oil, and add the cumin and mustard seeds and leave them to lightly splutter.

–        Add in the finely chopped garlic, ginger, chillies, and onion; sauté till the onions are transparent. Add the tomatoes and leave to cook for 2 min on medium flame.

–        add the finely chopped bell pepper and sauté for another 2 min.

–        while the bell pepper is on the stove, mince cauliflower in the processor until it resembles bulgur wheat.

–        add this to the mixture on the stove, and cook for exactly a minute and a half. Season(salt and turmeric) the mixture and cook for another 30 seconds.

(You will not need to add any water to this dish on the stove as the cauli and tomatoes will leave enough water as it is, and a little more water when you add salt. )

–        take the mixture off the heat and serve as is, or with cool, fresh yogurt on the side. (Dress with fresh coriander leaves and olive oil drizzled, if you please)

Tomato soup from Karnataka


I live in Bangalore, the posh cosmopolitan capital of Karnataka. It is a southern Indian state where the predominant languages are kannada, tamil, hindi, and English, in that order. While, tomato soup or soup itself is a borrowed dish, Bangloreans have customized it to suit their tastes, and it has become a favourite with us in the past 2-3 decades or so. Here, tomato soup is a very unique blend of spices. After a lot of recipe testing, my tomato soup has finally managed to match the taste of my favourite eatery’s (and several other standard eateries) tomato soup. Here goes the recipe:

  1. 5 medium sized tomatoes
  2. 2 tbspn tomato puree or paste
  3. 1 tspn fennel seeds
  4. 1 tspn cumin seeds
  5. A pinch or a bit more of ground cinnamon
  6. 5 cloves of garlic
  7. Salt
  8. ½ tspn or a bit more of Sugar
  9. Light olive oil or vegetable oil
  10. 1 tspn of fresh cream

–        In a pan with 2 cups of boiling water, blanch the tomatoes for 2 minutes and skin them after they cool down a bit.

–        In the same pan, add the tomato puree or paste, and cook for a minute. Add the skinned tomatoes along with the cooked paste in the blender. Do not blend just as yet.

–        In the same pan (which is now dry), add a tspn of oil and sauté the cumin and fennel seeds, and garlic, together for 30 seconds. Add ground cinnamon and immediately transfer the mixture to the blender too.

–        Now blend for 3 minutes on low, adding required amounts of water, and seasoning this mixture as your blend.

–        Reheat the soup, and add fresh cream just before serving; Serve hot.