Archive for the ‘AFAM’ Category

AFAM – Dry Fruits Round up

Botanically a tomato is a fruit not a vegetable; cashew is not really a fruit; a peanut is a legume and not a nut; an almond is a seed and not a fruit. And there are fruits that may not necessarily be naturally dry but dried either by sun bathing or with a help of a dehydrator.

However, in a culinary sense dry fruits would refer to not just fruit that’s dry but also all nuts whether fruit or seed and even ordinary dates, even if they also happen to be sold in another drier “dried” form . Since definitions are so wildly varied, even if one is looking at an ingredient from a purely culinary standpoint, how does one define if something qualifies or not as a dry fruit?

When we chose “Dry Fruits” as the theme for AFAM in December 2007, we anticipated these differences in definitions and we decided that we’ll not set any boundaries of what would qualify as a dry fruit and what wouldn’t. We decided to let the food lovers in the virtual world define what a “dry fruit” is – although this might seem like making things very vague, we were quite confident that no one would drastically call a cabbage a dry fruit.

So here’s the round up of all the lip smacking entries we’ve received.

Panettonne Pudding with Dried Apricots
Dhivya Karthik at Culinary Bazaar

Dried Fruits,Apple and Oats porridge
Dhivya Karthik at Culinary Bazaar

Dry Fruit Pongal
Suthi at SuthiRecipe

Dry Fruit Burfi, Cahew Murukku, Almond Murukku, Nuts Kheer and Kulfi
Suthi at SuthiRecipe

kalva-peas pilaf
Peas Pilaf with Raisins and Cinnamon
Kalva at Curry in a Kadai

Dry Fruit Muffins
Viji at Vcuisine


Spicy Pumpkin Bread
Viji at Vcuisine

Fruit and Nut War Cake
Bee and Jai at Jugalbandi

Christmas Cake
Happy Cook at My Kitchen Treasures

Coconut Banana Bread with Lima Glaze
Gretchen Noelle Jones at Canela & Comino

Mewa Nu Achaar
Meera at Easy Indian Food

Cashew and Almond Chikki
EasyCrafts at Simple Indian Food

Fruit and Nut Oatmeal Bar
Rajitha at Hunger Pangs

Festive Fruit and Nut Squares
Namratha at Finger Licking Food

Nuts in Honey
Srivalli at Cooking 4 All Seasons

Cookies with dry fruits and nuts
Vijaya at Daily Meals

Torte Di Mandorle – Shell like Almond Chocolate Cake
Marta at An Italian in US

Mom’s Delight
Nags at For the Cook in Me

Dry Fruits Kuzhipaniyaram
Renuka at Fusion

Fruit Cake
Sailu at Sailu’s Food

Eggless Cinnamon Fruit Cake
Paru at Brindavan – a journey for authentic Karnataka recipes

Christmas Fruit and Nut Cake
Rina at Rina’s Recipes

Almond and Pistachio Ice Cream Pie
Mansi at Fun and Food

Fig, Golden raisin and Date Focaccia
Bharathy at Spicy Chilly

Fruit Cake
Raaga at The Singing Chef

Mango Kheer
Asha at Aroma Hope

Dried Fruit and Nut Cake
Suganya at Tasty Palettes

Fig Tapenade
Laurie from Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska

Khajoor Niblets (recipe follows)
Jigyasa and Prathibha at Pritya

500 gms seedless dates; 1 tin condensed milk (400 ml); 100 gms cashewnuts; 100 gms almonds; 100 gms dessicated coconut


  1. Chop the dates into fine bits.
  2. Toss them with the rest of the ingredients into a thick-bottomed wok. On a low flame, stir the mixture for 6-8 minutes. As the mixture begins to leave the sides of the pan, switch off the flame. Allow to cool for 15 minutes.
  3. Grease your palms with a little ghee (clarified butter or oil) and roll the mixture into thick long pieces – 1 inch thick and 5-7 inches long. Coat them lightly with dessicated coconut so that they do not stick to each other.
  4. Freeze them for 20 minutes and then chop them with a sharp knife into bite sized pieces. (Freezing them helps to retain the shape while chopping. Use a sharp knife so it may cut through the cashews and almonds.)


Dry Fruit Truffles
Aparna at My Diverse Kitchen

We wrap this round up with Coffee and Dried Currants Cake from our side.

Thanks to all those who participated.


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Coffee Dried Currants Cake

Note: It’s snowing at The Yum Blog – those aren’t white dots but snow flakes.

If plum cakes can be cakes without plums then dried currants can be currants that have nothing to do with currants.

Dried currants as the Wikipedia article rattles, are tiny seedless intensely flavoured grapes from the island of Zante in Greece. Greece account for close to 90% of all the Zante grapes in the world, making it the largest producer and exporter. In fact the production of currants traditionally in Greece has been so large that once it even incited an economic crisis in late 19th century and early years of the 20th century. One of the oldest known raisins in the world, their current name derives from “Reysyns de Corauntz” or “Raisins of Corinth”.

I have never made a cake without chocolate or cocoa – so this is my first attempt. I dumped in ingredients with a rough estimate of what goes inside a cake and I was delighted with the results.



  • All Purpose Flour – 1 1/2 cups
  • Sugar – 1 cup
  • Butter – 1/2 cup
  • Coffee Decoction – 1/2 cup (coffee concentrate)
  • Dried Currants – 3/4 cup
  • Espresso Powder – 4 tbsp
  • Curd – 4 tbsp (adjust as per batter consistency)
  • Baking Powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Cooking Soda – 1/4 tsp


  1. Line and Grease a microwave safe square glass dish (8in to 9in in size). Leave some paper to hang from the sides.
  2. Soak the Dried Currants in Coffee Dicoction for 1 hour or so until the currants are plump.
  3. Powder the sugar. Take a large mixing bowl and cream the butter and sugar.
  4. Add the flour followed by the Espresso Powder. Mix well.
  5. Add the dried currants with the Coffee dicoction.
  6. In a small cup, mix the curd with baking powder and cooking soda. Add this to the batter in the mixing bowl and mix well.
  7. Check the consistency of the batter which should be thick but flowing. Add a couple of more tablespoons of curd or milk to adjust consistency if required.
  8. Transfer batter to the greased dish and microwave on high for 7 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center of the cake. Keep for an additional minute or so if the toothpick doesn’t come out clean.
  9. Remove from oven when done and wait for the cake to cool before cutting into pieces.

This is my entry for AFAM – Dry Fruits which is being hosted by us for the month of December.

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A Fruit a Month (AFAM) Event started by Maheshwari of Beyond the Usual will be hosted by us this month. This month being the month of Christmas, we thought it would be nice to have Dry Fruits as the theme. Any fruit that has been dried either naturally by sun drying or artificially would qualify. The only rule to be followed for the event is dry fruits must be the central ingredient of the recipe – they must simply play the lead role in the recipe. Just post a recipe using any dry fruits, with a link back to this post and email it to me at naralatha@gmail.com . The last day for sending the entries is 31st December. Hoping to get a great response from all food bloggers.

AFAM dates for the month of November was hosted by Chandrika of Akshayapathra. She will be posting the roundup around 10th December.

I received the award from Padma of Padma’s kitchen almost a month back. It is such a great feeling when some one gives a pat on your back. My heartfelt thanks to Padma for this wonderful award.


There are a lot of lovely girls around the blogosphere who call me Lathamma. My daughter Lakshmi is a little jealous about this – 😀 . But Siri is an exception to this. Lakshmi says “Oh Siri is such a darling! She can call you Amma! ” This lovable girl Siri has been trying hard for a few months to find an appropriate award for me. Finally she found this nice award! The award was accompanied by a sweet letter, which is much more valuable for me than the award itself! I have no words but only tears of joy for this loving gesture from Siri!

The Most Unique Blog of the Year

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