peach and berry cake

Summer is slowly trying to move out and gracefully make space for fall but before it has  completely gone  I wanted to give it a beautiful send off  by making  this delicious peach and raspberry cake. Yellow peaches are in abundance in summer every where, but my family prefers picking them at the local farmers market. I love the flavor of yellow peaches, they are perfect for baking and cooking.

This cake is a bit dense  but yet very moist. The few ingredients that make this cake extra special are almond flour, buttermilk and of course the peaches. I must admit while I was prepping for this cake I could not resist  stealing a few slices to munch on – simply delicious! So before I eat all the fruit lets get baking!


1 2/3 cups of plain flour

1 1/2 cups of almond flour

1 cup sugar ( you may add 1/4 cup more for more sweetness)

1/4 tsp salt

1 stick of soft butter

2 1/2 tsp of baking powder

1 cup of low fat butter milk

2 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp of almond extract

3 to 4 ripe yellow peaches (depending on how big they are)

6 ounces of raspberries

some icing sugar for dusting


preheat the oven to 350 degree F, grease a round 9 inch pan  with butter or any other shape you like. line it with parchment paper .

To make your batter combine the almond flour, plain flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and mix. Next add your wet ingredients: butter and eggs, followed by buttermilk and the vanilla and almond extract. Mix with a whisk, electric hand mixer or stand mixer but do not over mix. You should get a  thick yet flowing batter. Now add this batter to your greased pan set aside.

Wash the berries set them aside. Slice the peaches and remove the stone. Arrange the sliced peaches on the batter around the diameter of the cake pan and scatter all the berries in the middle.

Bake the cake in the pre heated oven for 50 minutes or test with tooth pick and if it comes out clean the cake is ready. Let it cool completely before putting  on the cake stand or platter, dust it with powder sugar and serve with a cup of tea or just as is. Enjoy !






patra ( with swiss chard )

Alu vadi/patra is a yummy snack traditionally made with taro leaves. Every time there was a special lunch get together at my grandmas house, a platter full of these were sure to be there. Today I make this recipe with a twist, using swiss chard leaves instead of taro because taro leaves are not always freshly available , plus i enjoy incorporating western vegetables in Indian cuisine — an adventure in itself! I could not tell the difference, the taste was just like the original.IMG_7418.JPG


12 swiss chard leaves

1 cup chickpea flour

1 1/2 tsp red chili powder

1 tsp coriander powder 

1/4tsp cumin powder 

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

2 tbs tamarind pulp

2 tbs jaggery or brown sugar

2 cloves of grated garlic

Salt to taste 

4 tbs oil 

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

1/2 tsp of mustard seeds


1 tablespoon frozen grated coconut ( optional for garnish)

Snip the stems and wash the swiss chard well.  Pat dry the leaves with kitchen towel. Fold each leaf into half with the stem vein running in the middle of the leaf. Carefully slice the  thicker vein, while trying to keep the leaf from tearing too much, Sometimes there are small rips in the leaf but that is fine, Trimming of the middle vein makes rolling the leaf easy.

Now time to make the batter. Mix chickpea flour, coriander powder, cumin powder, red chili powder, turmeric, tamarind pulp, jaggery, garlic and salt with some water. Continue to mix until you have a smooth batter.

When you buy Swiss chard the leaves are not of all same size but that is totally fine. I had 12 leaves so I divided them into piles of 6 and made 2 rolls stacked with 6 leaves.

IMG_7440.JPGLay one leaf up side  down on a large cutting board . Apply the gram flour batter  evenly to the leaf. After the first leaf has a thin layer of paste applied all over, take another leaf of either the same size or smaller. Put it on top of the first and apply the batter in a thin layer to the back of the second leaf. Repeat this process for the next 4 leaves starting with the biggest leaf to the smaller ones.once one stack is ready start rolling the stack of leaves to form a tight roll sealing the edges Keep the roll aside. Repeat the same process for the remaining leaves and make the second roll. Arrange the rolls in a lightly greased steamer rack.

depending on how deep your pot is, add 1 -2 cups of water to the steamer pot, and bring to a simmer. Put the steamer rack with the rolls in them in the pot. Cook covered for 15 to 20 mins. Turn the heat off. Let the rolls cool down completely. Then cut each roll into thick or thin slices. 

Heat a pan on medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of oil. Add 1/2 tsp of mustard seeds and arrange the slices on the skillet. Cook for a couple mins on each side until golden, carefully flip over. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Cook for a couple mins or until the vadi’s are golden and crispy.

These Alu vadi or patra made with swiss chard leaves can be served with any chutney as an appetizer, or just an evening snack with tea . 

Enjoy !