Homemade bread, homemade Peanut butter and a drizzle of honey........ doesn't that sound like heaven? Of all the things we love, peanut butter is our ever-popular and all-time favourite food. We love it plain, we love it on bread, chapatis, in brownies, cakes, and chocolates. We have very fond memories of dad making peanut butter at home in his very heavy iron hand grinder. It was such a charming machine. The grinder had to be first fixed on a table with a screw. The toasted nuts would go inside the grinding chamber through the funnel-shaped mouth and we would all take turns to rotate the handle till the nuts were crushed and creamed and smooth silky peanut butter rolled out from the other end. That taste, that flavour, that excitement and that happiness still echoes in my memory.

I have read that peanut butter helps in losing weight as it suppresses hunger without weight gain. It is full of healthy fats and is good for the heart. Peanut butter is full of protein, potassium, magnesium, fibre, and niacin and keeps you in good health. Do we need more reasons to eat peanut butter? J

Toasting the nuts is important before grinding as this warms the oils in the nuts and helps everything blend together easily. Toasting also gives peanut butter a deeper and richer flavour. Grind the nuts while they are warm. To make Chocolate Peanut Butter, add cocoa powder in the end. Also, add more sweetener to get the right sweetness.

I made a batch with honey (the picture above).  Honey makes Peanut Butter hard. If you want a spreadable consistency, add unrefined sugar or jaggery or sweetener of choice. 
Chocolate Peanut Butter makes a lovely spread. Kids love it. Add more oil for a runny spreadable consistency.

Peanut Butter


  • 3 cups raw peanuts
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2 tablespoons unrefined  sugar/ jaggery or sweetener of choice


  1. Spread peanuts on a baking tray. Set oven temperature to 150 degrees C and timer to 10 minutes.
  2. The peanuts should crackle and turn golden by the end of 10 minutes.
  3. Rub the warm toasted peanuts between the palms and remove the skin.
  4. Transfer the toasted nuts to a food processor or a blender. Run the blender continuously for 1 minute. Scrape the sides and bottom. At this stage, the nuts would have turned into a gritty powder.
  5. Run the blender again continuously for 1 minute. Stop and scrape down the sides. The butter will start clumping together.
  6. Add salt, oil and honey/sugar/sweetener. Run the blender for 1 to 2 minutes till you get very glossy and creamy peanut butter. You may taste butter at this point. Adjust salt/honey/sugar/sweetener.
  7. Give it a final blend for 1 minute.
  8. Spoon the peanut butter into jars and refrigerate.

Chocolate Peanut Butter


  • 3 cups raw peanuts
  • ½  teaspoon salt
  • 2  tablespoons peanut oil plus ½  more for a spreadable consistency
  • 4 tablespoons unrefined sugar
  • 2 tablespoon cocoa powder


Same as above. Add cocoa powder after step no. 6

Our Sundays are slow paced and relaxing. There is always some baking and cooking on Sundays. Kids want to have something ‘special’. This ‘special’ is really ambiguous and I always try my best to interpret it. Is it a new recipe that they are looking forward to? Or do they mean their old favourite recipe? But by and large anything with a twist fits the bill. This Sunday, we baked something special. We baked a beautiful Chrysanthemum Bread. We filled the petals with pizza sauce and cheese. It was great fun to shape the petals. Arranging the petals in the pan was done with great precision from our side. While the bread was rising and baking, we sat out on our veranda in the soft and mellow winter Sun. How beautiful are Sundays! The lazy mornings and languid afternoons.

We saw a butterfly sunning herself in the Magnolia tree.

 And another butterfly in the fireball plant.

Soon we could smell the heavenly aroma of the bread. And when it came out of the oven, there were smiles, awe, astonishment, and happiness :)

I was waiting to  bake this bread since long. Bread Bakers gave me a perfect reason to go ahead with it.

 We loved to pull out the petals and enjoyed the bread.

Chrysanthemum Bread


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup warm milk
  • 1 ½ tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup thick yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter


  • ¾ cup pizza sauce (get the recipe here)
  • ¾ cup grated cheddar cheese
  • Pizza seasoning


  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons milk


  1. Whisk together first three ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Mix milk and honey. Stir in yeast. Cover and keep for 10 minutes. The yeast will turn frothy.
  3. Beat yogurt.  
  4. Add all the ingredients to the flour mix and knead to for 6-8 minutes to get a very soft, smooth and elastic dough. Add more warm milk if the dough feels a little hard, or, add more flour if it feels too sticky.
  5. Transfer dough to a greased bowl. Turn around once so that it is evenly coated with oil. Cover with a kitchen towel and keep in a warm place for 1 to 1 ½ hours or until double. 
  6. Grease one 8 inches shallow pie pan/cake pan. Line the bottom with the parchment  sheet
  7. Gently punch the risen dough, and divide into two pieces.
  8. We will work on one portion at a time. Keep the other portion covered.
  9. Dust the working counter with some flour. Roll out the first portion to 3 mm thickness. Using a cookie cutter or a glass, cut out circles of about 3 inches from the dough. Reshape the remaining dough, roll out again and cut the circles. Repeat with the second portion.
  10. Take 1 teaspoon of pizza sauce and spread around the circles leaving the edges. Add 1 ½ teaspoon of grated cheese.
  11. Fold the circles into half to get a semicircle. Fold it in half again. Now bring the edges together to get a petal. Pinch the edges.
  12. Arrange the prepared petal around the edge of the prepared pan. The point of the petals should be towards the center. 
  13. Arrange the petals in two rows. For center, take two filled semicircles and intertwine the halves.
  14. Cover with a kitchen cloth and keep in a warm, place for 25-30 minutes.
  15. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
  16. Prepare glaze by beating yolk and milk. Brush the bread with the glaze.
  17. Bake for 15 minutes. Lower the temperature to 175 degrees. Bake for another 10 minutes. The top should turn golden. Cover with a foil if it is browning too fast.
  18. Remove from the oven after 10 minutes. Shift to the cooling rack. Brush with melted butter.
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.
We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. 
Our host this month is Kelly from Passion Kneaded. Her blog is a must visit for lovely breads. She chose pull-apart bread this month. Thank You Kelly!we loved the theme and enjoyed baking bread.
Do check out all fabulous pull-apart bread  baked by other members

·         Apple Pecan Streusel Pull Apart Bread from Hostess at Heart
·         Bananas Foster Monkey Bread from Food Lust People Love
·         Caramel Nut Rolls from House of Nash Eats
·         Cheese Stuffed Garlic Pull Apart Bread from Mayuri's Jikoni
·         Cheesy Pesto Pull Apart Bread from Spill the Spices
·         Christmas Tree Bread from Sara's Tasty Buds
·         Chrysanthemum Bread from Ambrosia
·         Cinnamon Sugar Pull Apart Bread from Cook's Hideout
·         Coffee Pull-Apart Bread from Passion Kneaded
·         Coriander Garlic Pull Apart Bread from The Mad Scientist's Kitchen
·         Cranberry Chutney Pull Apart Bread from Spiceroots
·         Garlic Pull Apart Bread from Palatable Pastime
·         (High Altitude) Cranberry Orange Cardamom Pull-Apart Bread from The Wimpy Vegetarian
·         JalapeƱo & Cheese Pull Apart Bread from I camp in my kitchen
·         Laadi Pav or Pull Apart Rolls from Sneha's Recipe
·         Monkey Bread from Sonlicious
·         Overnight Monkey Bread Pudding from A Day in the Life on the Farm
·         Paneer Pesto Pull Apart Rolls from Veena's Vegnation
·         Pull-Apart Dill Bread from Karen's Kitchen Stories
·         Pumpkin, Garlic, and Sage Pull-Apart Bread from Baking Sense
·         Pumpkin Spice Latte Pull-Apart Bread from All That's Left Are The Crumbs
·        Stuffed Sweet Potato Pull-Apart Rolls from The Schizo Chef


Most of the times we end up with leftover rice at home. Mom used to make fried rice and we loved it. Sometimes, she would also knead the flour with leftover rice along with chopped onions, fresh coriander and make paranthas. This was definitely our favourite parantha recipe.
Leftover rice should be immediately kept in the refrigerator but never kept in the refrigerator for too long. Stale may pose serious health issues and send your stomach into turmoil. It is best when used within two hours of cooking. Read more about this here
Whenever we have leftover rice, we generally bake a bread using all of it in the dough. The bread comes out soft and spongy and is best eaten the same day.
It is a great relief once the dinner is sorted. The evening was relaxing. We made masala chai and enjoyed the colourful autumn evening.  

We spotted a Shikra on our terrace.
Dinner was a soup and Rice Bread. We loved it and in the end, has a slice each with honey.

Rice Bread | Leftover Rice Bread


  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cup cooked rice (freshly cooked, leftover, white rice or brown rice)
  • 3 teaspoons oil for bread +1 teaspoon for greasing the bowl and pan
  • ¾ teaspoons salt
  • ¾ cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 ¼ teaspoon instant dry yeast


  1. In a large bowl, take flour, salt, and oil. Mix well.
  2. In another bowl, take water, sugar, and yeast. Mix, cover and keep for 10 minutes. It should turn frothy. Add rice and mix.
  3. Add wet ingredients to flour mix. Knead for 6-7 minutes till you get a smooth, slightly tacky dough.
  4. In the beginning, take slightly less than ¾ cup water for activating the yeast. While kneading keep adding water as needed. We don’t want a very sticky dough.
  5. Transfer the dough to a greased bowl and turn around once so that it is evenly coated with oil. Cover with a kitchen towel and keep in a warm place to rise for 1 hour or until double.
  6. Grease one 8 ½ x 4 ½ inch loaf pan.
  7. Transfer the risen dough onto a floured counter.  With your fingers, flatten the dough into 8x10 inch rectangle. Tightly roll the dough, pinch and tuck the ends in. Place into the greased loaf pan.
  8. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees C for 40-45 minutes. The top should turn golden brown and the pan should sound hollow when tapped.
  9. Cool on the rack. Slice when cold

Soft, Chewy and fudgy Besan Barfi has a beautiful flavour and is quick to make. Makes a great dessert for an occasional indulgence.

Nature has painted its canvas in our world in yellow. Mesmerising shades and hues of yellow and gold dominate and adorn the landscape in the foothills and the hills.
Yellow is the color of sunshine, hope, and happiness. Yellow also stands for freshness, happiness, positivity,  energy, optimism, and enlightenment.

A bunch of dahlias has come up in our backyard.

We found some very pretty  cosmos in the fields

The Golden trumpet is blossoming in all the glory.

 The festivals are over and it is back to the regular routine. Fasting and feasting is over. Festivities do result in an overload of calories. We lovingly indulged in the homemade sweets. Glutted with calories we always had room for some more. It is almost a week post Diwali, and the heart is craving for some more sweets. Are these withdrawal symptoms? We wonder!
Having a sweet tooth and being scared of calories can really drive you to experiment and improvise the recipes and thus recreating them to suit your palate.

With the leftover ingredients, we made Besan Barfi.  Besan is such a favourite ingredient when it comes to sweets. But is always requires a lot of ghee to get that beautiful flavour.  We often make besan barfi at home. And every time it is made, a lot of experiment and thought goes into making it lesser in calories and at the same time not compromising on taste.  Ghee (clarified butter) was replaced by coconut oil. There is no added sugar as we used condensed milk. The Barfi sets well and is chewy and fudgy. It is definitely a keeper recipe as it is quick to make and ideal when sweet cravings are to be satiated or if you have guests over.

You may skip cardamom powder because besan has its own flavour which is intense and pleasant.
An important point- cook on low flame. It should not burn at the bottom. In the last stages of cooking, the mixture will stick to the sides and bottom. You have to keep scraping and cooking. When the mixture collects in the center as a ball, turn off the heat. The barfi is soft and chewy.

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Besan Barfi | Besan Fudge


  • 1 cup chickpea (besan) flour
  • 4 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)/coconut oil
  • ¾  cup condensed milk
  • 3-4 green cardamom seeds crushed into a fine powder
  • ¼  cup slivered almonds
  • ¼ cup chopped pistachios


  1. Grease a medium-size steel plate or take a square cake pan. Line it with parchment paper. Ensure that the parchment paper extends over the sides.
  2. Take chickpea flour and ghee/coconut oil in a thick bottom steel wok. Cook on low heat stirring continuously.
  3. Soon it will begin to change colour.  
  4. Cook till besan turns slightly dark in colour and a lovely aroma emanates. Turn off the heat.
  5. After 10 minutes, add condensed milk. Stir very well so that you get a lump-free mixture. Initially, the mixture will be lumpy. Keep stirring and breaking the lumps by pressing against the sides of the wok. Soon, you will get a smooth mixture.
  6. Cook on low heat. Stir continuously to stop the mixture from sticking to the bottom and burning.
  7. Cook till mixture thickens and leaves the sides of the wok. It will stick to the sides and bottom. Scrape and cook. It should come to the centre as one ball. Turn off the heat.
  8. Add cardamom powder. Mix well. Empty the mixture into the prepared pan or plate.
  9. Spread evenly with a greased spatula/ladle. Sprinkle slivered almonds and pistachios and press them into the mixture. Keep it to cool.
  10. When cold, remove the barfi and cut into squares. Store in an airtight container.

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