Tingling air, heavenly petrichor, and freshness permeates the air as it rained heavily early morning. The rain is very welcome and was much awaited. It will replenish the springs, it will nourish the winter crops, benefit the fruit trees and it will improve the weather.
The temperature has dropped visibly. People in the streets are bundled up in layers and layers of clothes. Birds are huddled up together in branches. Monkeys are also cuddled up in groups. We spotted a pair of Red Vent Bulbuls in bougainvillea bush.

On cold days, afternoon tea is eagerly awaited for. While the teapot hissed and steamed, we dressed up our finger millet cake with thick ganache. A handful of crushed pistachios were showered on the ganache as it dripped from the sides. The cake we delicious.

I baked this cake on lines of Cake Pan Cake or, the Wartime Cake. It is vegan and guilt-free.
We bake this cake quite often. When we bake it as a snack cake, we bake with whole grain flour. when baked as a dessert cake, its 50% all-purose flour and 50% wholegrain flour.

It is definitely an easy dessert cake on the go and is really delish.

Chocolate Finger millet Cake | Chocolate Ragi Cake (Vegan)


  • 2 cups wholewheat flour 
  • ½ cup cocoa
  • ¼ cup finger millet flour
  • 1 ¼ cup unrefined cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda (scant)
  • ½ teaspoon rock salt (less if using sea salt)
  • 1 cup warm water
  • ½ cup oil
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
  2. Generously grease one 8 cup bundt pan with oil. Dust with flour. Tap to remove excess flour.
  3. You may bake this cake in two 8 inch round cake pans or one large 9 inches round cake pan.
  4. Take all the dry ingredients (first six ingredients) in a large bowl.
  5. Whisk together nicely.
  6. Make a well in the center.
  7. Add water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla extract.
  8. Mix well to get a lump free batter.
  9. Pour into the prepared bundt pan.
  10.  Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  11. Remove the pan from the oven after 10 minutes. Let the cake cool completely on a wire rack.
  12. Enjoy plain or with ganache. (Find the recipe for ganache here)
I suggest that once the cake cools completely, wrap in a cling film and keep it overnight. Slice next day. It becomes soft, moist and the flavours also come out fully.

Note – If you are using a bundt pan, ensure that it is a non- stick material. Grease it well with oil and dust with flour in all the corners and crevices. After you remove the cake from the oven, wrap a towel around the base and sides of the pan for 15 minutes. Use the back of a spoon to push the cake from the sides. If you see that it has left the pan, invert on the rack. 
Peanut and Jaggery Laddu are vegan, gluten-free and with no added fat. The laddus are melt in the mouth, delicious and addictive and make a healthy snack.  

Peanuts or groundnuts are the staple snacks in winters in north India. Nuts with shells are roasted in the sand in a large iron wok on clay angithi (oven) and sold in the carts. The vendors also sell the sweets like chikki, made with peanuts and jaggery.

Our ancient food theories have a profound understanding of the food and diet according to the seasons. It came with the understanding the fact that changes in diet also need to be altered by the changing seasons. Most of the festivals in India celebrate and welcome new seasons and have specific food assigned to each of them. This is really apt and very interesting.

In summers, the weather is extremely hot.  The body needs simple and easily digestible foods and foods that are coolants. Similarly, during winters the weather is cold and dry and body requires foods that are nutrient rich and body warming and rich in natural oils.

In North India, we get fresh produce of groundnuts. Winter is also the time when fresh Jaggery is made in our villages in the foothills. Our traditional sweets during winters are made with groundnuts and jaggery. On Makar Sankranti and Lohri, most of the sweets are prepared using Peanuts and Jaggery.

Peanuts are good for the heart. Peanuts are rich in proteins and folic acid. Jaggery is rich in calcium and iron. It removes toxic matter from the body and keeps the body warm. It is a great immunity booster and blood purifier. It is a natural cleanser that efficiently cleans the respiratory tract, lungs, and food pipe and stomach.
Peanuts and jaggery make a healthy combination. Peanut Jaggery laddu are made every winter in our home several times. The laddus come together quickly and easily and make a healthy snack. The melt in the mouth laddu have no added fat and are delicious and addictive.

Peanut Jaggery Laddu |Peanut Jaggery Energy Balls


  • 2 cups peanuts
  • 1 cup crumbled jaggery
  • 4-5 green cardamoms (powdered)


  1. Roast peanuts on low flame until they crackle and turn golden.
  2. Or, take peanuts in a baking tray. Preheat oven to 150 degrees. Set timer to 15 minutes. Toast the peanuts until they begin to crackle and turn golden. 
  3. Remove the skin from the roasted nuts.
  4. Grind the warm nuts until you get a fine powder and the nuts begin to turn buttery. Buttery nuts help in binding the laddus well.
  5. Add crumbled jaggery to the mixture. Pulse twice or thrice in the grinder.
  6. Transfer the mixture to a plate. Add powdered cardamom. Mix well.
  7. Take a handful of mixture and shape into ball pressing the mixture tightly with your fingers. Use only one hand to shape laddu.
  8. In case if the mixture seems a bit dry, add more jaggery.
  9. Store in an airtight container.

Note: Make these laddus with the jaggery that comes in blocks. This jaggery is soft and turns mushy and binds the laddu well. Store bought jaggery powder or small chunks will not bind the laddus well.
Buttery cloverleaf rolls look like their namesake. They are light, fluffy, buttery, and slightly sweet pull-apart rolls.

We are expecting snow in the hills soon. Every clear day is like a blessing. The Sun benevolent is crisp, and warm and soothing. Last weekend, we went to a village in the foothills. The sprawling fields draped in green against the backdrop of the hills was a mesmeric sight. Sunlight streaming through the trees in the forest looked splendid.

We spotted many birds. Grey Bushchat kept flitting in the lower branches of the bushes.

Siberian Stonechat looked beautiful in the fields.

Far away in the fields, a long-tailed Shrike was perched atop a dry branch.

Back home we had cloverleaf rolls with a soup for dinner.

 It was fun to shape the rolls.

Three balls of dough were placed seam side down in each cup of the muffin pan.

Cloverleaf rolls are soft, buttery and slightly sweet. We enjoyed them warm with butter honey glaze. We had the remaining rolls with soup.

Cloverleaf Rolls


  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt (rock salt. Use less if using sea salt)
  • 10 tablespoons butter (melted)
  • 1 cup warm milk (plus more if the dough feels hard)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons instant dry yeast

To brush the rolls

  • 1 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon honey


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together first four ingredients.
  2. Add sugar to warm milk. Stir to dissolve. Add yeast stir and let sit for 10 minutes.
  3. Add milk mixture to the dry ingredients.
  4. Stir and when you get a shaggy dough, transfer to a counter and knead for 6- 8 minutes. Add more milk if the dough feels hard or dry. Knead to get a smooth but a little sticky dough.
  5. Transfer to an oiled bowl. Turn around once so that it is evenly coated with oil all around. Cover and keep and for 1 hour or more or until double.
  6. In the meantime, grease one 12 cup muffin pan.
  7. Punch the risen dough. Divide into 3 equal pieces. Further, divide each piece of dough into 12 equal smaller pieces.
  8. Roll out each piece into a ball and place three dough balls, seam side down in one cavity.
  9. Cover and keep the muffin pan in a warm place for 30 minutes to 1 hour or until the rolls have doubled.
  10. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees. Bake for 10 minutes and rotate the pan 180 degree so that all the rolls are browned evenly. Bake for another 10 minutes.
  11. Remove from the oven after 5 minutes.
  12. Mix melted butter and honey and brush over the warm rolls.
  13. Enjoy warm.

Linking to #BreadBakers
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to [email protected].

This month, the Bread Bakers are making Good Luck Breads, a theme chosen by Felice from All That's Left Are The Crumbs.

And don’t forget to check out all the amazing breads baked by our talented bakers ~
Wholegrain Eggless Fruit and Nut Snack Cake is a low fat cake. It is moist, delicious and wholesome. Studded with dry fruits and nuts, it is ideal for snacking, for kids' snack box and great with a cup of tea.

There has always been a ritual in our home to watch the last sunset of the year. Our dad used to take us to the terrace and we would all watch the huge red orb sinking slowly into the horizon and disappearing in the gray sky. 

It would be followed by introspection and discussion over a cup of hot tea. Slowly, the excitement of the New Year would take over and celebrations would begin. We always had special meals on the last day of the year and also on the first day of the year.
This year, like every year, we walked to the top of the oak ridge with our kids. It was cold and breezy and it was worth trudging up the steep terrain. The sunset was mesmerizing. I remembered my father. I looked up and believed that he must be watching us all. Physically, he left us three years ago but is living on in our heart. The values he gave us are being passed on to our kids.

Later, in the evening, we baked an Eggless Wholegrain Fruit Cake.  This is a low fat Cake. We used all the dry fruits and nuts left after baking the Christmas Cake.

The cake was delicious, wholesome and great with a cup of tea.

Whole Grain Eggless Fruit and Nut Snack Cake


  • 1 ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon corn flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 ¼ cup unrefined cane sugar
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar/ apple cider vinegar/ lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup mixed dry fruits (raisins, apricots, cherries, figs)
  • ¼ cup toasted chopped almonds


  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees C. Grease and line one 8 inch round cake pan.
  2. Toss dry fruits and nuts in one teaspoon flour.
  3. Take flour in a large bowl. Remove 1 tablespoon flour. Add 1 tablespoon corn flour.
  4. Whisk together first six ingredients in a large bowl.
  5. In another deep bowl, take milk, add vinegar, stir and let sit for five minutes.
  6. Add oil and vanilla extract. Stir to mix well.
  7. To this, add flour mix from a height.  This incorporates air in the batter making it light. Stir to combine.
  8. Stir in dry fruits and nuts.
  9. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
  10. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the top has browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  11. Remove from the oven after 10 minutes. Remove from the pan. Peel off the parchment paper.
  12. Cool in the rack.
  13. Slice when cold.

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