Nobody ever tires of chocolate cake.  This one comes out especially light and fluffy….great for special occasions.

Just slather with a quick chocolate frosting or divide the batter into two pans, and put a generous layer of cream cheese frosting between two layers to make it extra special. Or do both!

You could even make it dairy free.

Every guest will just love this one, even those with zero allergies.

rich chocolate cake


2 cups Grandma’s Gluten free Flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup water

1/2 cup butter / margarine

1/2 cup oil   (Use 2 Tablespoons less oil if you are using the substitute mixture for Egg Replacer)

1/2 cup buttermilk (for dairy free use 1/2 cup soy milk with 1 teaspoon lemon/lime juice)

Egg Replacer equivalent to two eggs. (If egg replacer is not available, whisk together 3 Tablespoons water, 3 Tablespoons oil plus 2 level teaspoons baking powder)

4 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

1-2 teaspoons vanilla


Pre heat oven to 350F or 180C

Bring to a boil– water, cocoa, oil and butter/margarine.

Remove from heat

Add vanilla, buttermilk and pre mixed egg replacer / substitute mixture

Sift together flour, sugar and baking soda.

Gradually fold into the liquid mixture.

Use hand mixer to make a smooth batter, if necessary.

Spoon into 2 eight inch pans.

Bake 40-45 minutes or until knife comes out clean.


3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar

3 Tablespoons milk

3 Tablespoons oil/butter

1/2 cup chocolate or vanilla chips

Bring to a rolling boil and continue to boil for one minute.

Remove from heat, add chocolate/vanilla chips and beat well

Add 1 teaspoon vanilla if required.

Using a broad spatula dab half the frosting onto one cake while still warm. Place the second cake on top.

Use remaining frosting to cover the top cake.

Simply delicious!

Cream Cheese Frosting ….a great option

Using a whisk or hand mixer, beat together—

1 cup cream cheese

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

Absolutely yummy.

Apples, pumpkins and ghostly nights….Halloween is here. Serve this fantastically tasty and easy apple dessert after trick and treating is done, to top off a special meal. This one is truly quick, simple and nourishing. Actually it’s a great dessert for any occasion…. Divali included!


6 medium size cooking apples. (good to have a sour variety)

4 Tablespoons dates, pitted and chopped

3 Tablespoons seedless raisins

Juice of 1 orange

Juice of 1 lemons/limes. Use 2 limes if small in size.

6 level Tablespoons brown sugar

Cream for serving.


Pre heat oven to 350 F or 175 C

Wash apples, peel and core each one. If you are not using a corer, gently core with a knife to form and hollow and remove center.

Place in an ovenproof dish.

Sprinkle with lemon/lime juice.

Mix orange juice with the chopped dates and raisins.

Spoon the mixture into each apple hollow. Stuff it in as tightly as possible to get as much of it inside as possible. Add a few more dates and raisins if required.

Sprinkle liberally with brown sugar. Use a little more if required.

Bake for 40 minutes or until soft.

Serve hot with cream or ice cream.

Simply delicious!!!


This is a great variation of the wheat and egg free basic chocolate cake.  Orange gives a zesty, tangy, delightful flavor….very enjoyable at tea time, after school or even as a dessert or snack addition to school lunch.


Tea time orange cake



2 cups Grandma’s Gluten Free Flour Mix

3/4 can condensed milk (a little over 10 ounces)

1 stick (4 ounces) butter

2-3 Tablespoons grated orange zest (gently grate orange zest without including the white portion beneath)

3/4 cup fizzy orange drink (Fanta, for example)

2 level teaspoons baking powder

1 level teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

A few drops of yellow food color.



Pre heat oven to 350 degrees F (approx 180 C)

In a medium bowl, sift all dry ingredients together (flour, baking powder and baking soda)

In a large bowl pour condensed milk.

Add melted butter and whisk together.

Add orange zest and vanilla extract, and mix well.

Pour in the fizzy orange drink slowly, mixing with a spoon as you pour.

Fold in dry ingredients, a few tablespoons at a time, ensuring that there are no lumps. If batter feels too thick,add a couple of tablespoons more or orange drink.

Mix well using a hand mixer for a couple of minutes.

Transfer into a 9” bundt pan or use two medium loaf pans, (8”x4”)

Bake for 45 minutes or until cake is a rich golden color, and knife comes out clean.

Simply delicious!

Moong Dal Vadas

Many people I know are allergic to chana dal (chick pea flour). One really doesn’t lose out that much.  Try these yummy moong dal vadas…they are as tasty, crunchier and lighter than the chana dal ones.  Once you have made these, you will want to make them again and again, whether allergic to chana dal or not.


moong dal vada



1 cup moong dal

1 cup lightly packed grated zucchini or finely chopped cabbage

1/3 cup finely chopped onion

2 Tablespoons or more chopped fresh cilantro (coriander)

Finely chopped green chillies to taste

1 teaspoon whole cumin seed

1 level teaspoon cumin seed (jeera) powder

1 teaspoon grated ginger (optional)

Pinch turmeric powder

Salt to taste 1/3 teaspoon baking soda.

Oil for frying



Wash and soak Moong dal for 3-4 hours, then drain the water.

Take care to drain all the water and keep dal as dry as possible.

Grind coarsely, so that dal particles and small pieces remain.

Mix all other ingredients into it.

In case dal is too moist, add a couple of teaspoons of rice or oat flour.  The mixture should be firm, not runny.

Heat oil.  Put in a small ball of dal mixture to ensure readiness. 

Shape mixture into balls, slightly flatten each ball and gently put into the oil.

Fry on medium-high heat till golden brown, turning each ball over so that both sides are a deep golden colour.

Remove vadas onto a platter or thali.

Serve hot with tomato ketchup or chutney.

These vadas taste good even when cooled and are ideal for carrying on a journey.

This is a fantastic breakfast/ brunch dish…good comfort food and very satisfying. Its amazing how you can achieve great taste without wheat or eggs.  If dairy is a no-no, use a combination of soy milk and soft, mashed tofu.  If gluten free bread is not available where you live, use thinly sliced potatoes.  I use SCHAR gluten free baguettes, as they do not contain wheat or eggs and are totally allergen free.  There are other options in the market, but a lot of gluten free products do contain egg and nut ingredients. I  have used cilantro and a tad bit of jalapeno, with sauted onion, but you can alter seasonings……try chives, green onions, basil, thyme, parsley, all equally delicious, in combinations of your choice.


hearty ham and cheese bake


Serves 2


6 slices of SCHAR gluten free bread (baguette), cut diagonally into longish shapes— or any other gluten free bread

4-6 slices cooked deli ham (Use cooked shredded chicken, cooked sliced turkey breast as ham alternatives) Chop ham slices into small bits

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup cream

2/3 cup grated cheddar

1/4 cup chopped onion

2 Tablespoons finely cut fresh cilantro leaves

1/2 teaspoon chopped jalapeno, or to taste

2 teaspoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh garlic (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 375 F

In a small saucepan heat olive oil, add garlic if using it, saute for 10-15 seconds.

Add chopped onion, saute till soft and transparent, then remove from heat and set aside.

Lightly grease a medium baking dish.

In a bowl, whisk milk and cream

Add sauted onion, 1 Tablespoon chopped cilantro and jalapeno.  Reserve 1 tablespoon cilantro for garnish.

Add salt and pepper

Pour half of the liquid mixture over the bread slices

Top with ham bits and half the grated cheese

Repeat layering of bread, milk-cream mixture and grated cheddar cheese

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden.  Edges should be slightly browned

Garnish with chopped cilantro.



Yummy Quinoa Salad

You can’t go wrong with a combination of quinoa, pineapple, red peppers and raisins.  Its delicious and colorful, makes a great table centerpiece….you can’t beat it for nutrition and taste!


1 cup quinoa

1 15 ounce can of diced pineapple, drained, juice reserved

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1/2 cup raisins

2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Salt to taste


To cook quinoa

Place quinoa in a fine sieve.  Wash under gently running water, rubbing the grain slightly as you wash.  When water has drained, repeat the process a couple of times.

Hear two cups water in a medium saucepan.  Add 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Gently pour in the washed and drained quinoa into the water.

Lower heat and simmer uncovered till most of the water has been absorbed and the grain is tender.

Cover and cook for a couple of minutes more till all the water is absorbed and the grain is well cooked.

Remove from heat. Uncover and fluff the quinoa grain with a fork to release steam and prevent grain from sticking.  Spread on a platter and allow it to cool.


To assemble

In a salad bowl, whisk together. 1/2 cup reserved pineapple juice with olive oil, lemon juice, sugar and salt.

Add pineapple bits, chopped red bell pepper and raisins.

Gently mix cooked and cooled quinoa.

Easy, filling and so healthy!

Nothing can be more allergy free than this cake, a real “wonder”—no gluten / wheat, no eggs, no dairy when you use oil instead of butter—and it is simply delicious!  Serve it as a dessert with fresh berries, or pack it in for snack time in school, this cake is healthier than you think, and a great filler for those in between ‘I am hungry’ times.


Rice pound cake




2 level cups Cream of Rice* (you can get the fortified one, with thiamin, niacin and riboflavin added)

1/4 cup oat flour (slightly heaped)

5 Tablespoons melted butter or oil

1 1/2 cups yogurt

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon plus one pinch (1/8th teaspoon) baking soda mixed in 2 Tablespoons milk

A few drops of yellow food color

*Cream of Rice, for my Indian readers is rice’ rava’, or semolina



In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except for the baking soda, using a large, heavy spoon.  Mix thoroughly.  Add 1-2 Tablesppons water if mixture appears too thick.  (Consistency of batter will depend on the thickness of yogurt used).  Basically you need to achieve cake batter consistency.

Add the baking soda mixed in milk, and whip it into the batter, whisking it with firm movements, so that it is fully incorporated.

Pour into a lightly greased 8”x4” loaf pan

Set aside for an hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place in oven and bake for 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean and cake has browned a little.

Let cool, then slice and serve……just great!

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