India Circus - Website & Product review

These days everyone goes head over heels for anything labelled by a designer. Be it shoes, watches, clothing, accessories, you can just go on and on. Honestly the reason I can think of is that everyone wants to have a feel of something designer, unique, chic and sophisticated. Well if that is you then you sure are reading something that might interest you. India Circus an online website offers  contemporary-chic, sophisticated and affordable style for various area of your life, ranging from home decor, dining, personal accessories and so on. What really caught my eye is the design so Indian right from motives, colours, tones and heritage of Mugal patterns. How elegant would it be to own or receive a piece of craft that is so beautiful yet unique? That said India Circus did take the honour of sending me one of their art piece tray which I will talk about in this post.

Let's have a walk through on what India Circus has to offer us

DINING



40 BEST CHRISTMAS & NEW YEAR RECIPES | 20 BEST CHRISTMAS & NEW YEAR BAKING RECIPES

Its Christmas eve and I am sure everyone is excited just like me. This year I had loads of plans to cook and bake and not bad did to my heart's content, so here I am to share a whole lot of recipes that can help you incase you are in last minute jitters as to what to cook or bake for Christmas or New Year. Look no further and without much delay here's the whole list of Christmas & New Year baking and cooking recipes that are listed across meal course and as well as Christmas treats, cooking, cakes and palaharam that you could make for the season. Here's wishing you all a wonderful Merry Christmas and A Joyous New Year's. 

Cinnamon Rolls Recipe | Eggless Cinnamon Rolls | Easy Christmas Breakfast Recipe



One more day for Christmas and if you still one of those last minute cooks wondering what to cook/ bake for your family and loved one's. I am here for your rescue :P . Make these warm cinnamon rolls for your breakfast table and surprise your dear ones and you are sure to see a smile on their faces. They are low calorie, eggless and definitely delicious till the last bite. Christmas calls for loads of baking and cooking and I am pretty sure you have this thought of "I am sure going to take a resolution to lose weight the coming year" or "I have to google for a good diet plan", common we all worry but no one worries while eating :P Since this recipe calls for no eggs this is sure a less-fatty recipe that you can try to impress. With no further delay lets move on to the recipe. Oh also you can check out my last minute Fruit Cake/ Plum cake recipe which I have tried over half a dozen times and that has never failed me and more more Christmas menu planning ideas check them here.

Ribbon Pakoda Recipe | Ribbon Murukku Recipe | Otu/Ola Pakoda | Christmas Palaharam Recipe



Just 3 days to Christmas and I am super excited to celebrated along with my family. This year I had my share of ups and downs but at the end of it I am all happy and content. Its time to count the blessings and be happy, life is too short to hold regrets or anger. As you think about this let me move on to the recipe of Ribbon Pakkoda which Amma never fails to make every Christmas. This is a super crunchy snack and can be made anytime of the year not just Christmas. But we usually make it specially for Christmas to distribute to near and dear. I hope you check out my other palaharam recipes - Kulkuls (sweet butter curls), Spicy diamond cuts. Do enjoy making this for your family during this Christmas season. For more Christmas recipe click here

Spicy Diamond Cuts Recipe | Savoury Diamond Cuts Step by Step | Christmas Palaharam Recipe

Along with all the cakes and bakes that we make for Christmas Amma always makes a list of palaharams to distribute for near and dear. Last week I posted Kulkuls which is more of the sweet snack (palaharam) for Christmas, this savoury diamond cuts is a savoury/spicy snack which is very simple and quick to do. I hope you are all set for your menu for Christmas and you can find more Christmas recipes here.

Spicy diamond cuts are a simple crunchy snack that is easy and quick to do. With everyday ingredients in anyone's panitry. The secret to this recipes is in a ground paste that gives lots of flavor to these diamons cuts. You can alter the paste according to your taste depending on your spice tolerance. Personally I find them perfect in spices. I took the step wise pictures with lights on in the kitchen so please bare with me

Chocolate Snowball Cookies Recipe | Eggless Snowball Cookies | Christmas Snowball Cookies


Christmas means many things to many but for me the whole reason and season for Christmas in Jesus himself. Although I was born in a Christian home and had all the access to anything gospel, my knowledge and acceptance of Jesus as my Lord is something I consider personal choice. You know what I mean no one forced me into anything. Each of us have our own faith and we learn as we grow. I am a strong believer of God and that inevitably shows. I do accept people for who they are and not for what they believe, you see faith is totally a sensitive topic to anybody. Today not like other days I just want to share with you something that touched me years ago when I was young and in a fragile state of mind. I was out in one of my uncle's place and I was sunk in my own thoughts as to why something that I expected never really happened. And I had a series of things that happened just exactly what I feared. Hmmm and that moment when I was trying to divert my mind and attention to almost anything or anyone I read this line in a book that caught my eye, it read like this " God does not give us what we want but what we need" I was blown away. Really it spoke so much to me that my whole perspective as to why and what and how turned to there could be a reason why this happened. Only someone who has a relationship with God really understand what those lines meant. And ever since I have this phrase reverberating in me when things don't turn out the way it should. May be that is something that you must also think about. Be blessed!

Eggless Chocolate Snowball Cookies were my recent attempt to try a twist to the traditional snowball cookies/ mexican wedding cakes that are famous during the Christmas season. Their unique shape, snow capped appearance and melt in mouth texture is sure to please anyone who has a sweet tooth. So if you are a chocolate lover or a chocoholic like me this is something you must definitely try a total fool proof recipe that is sure to steal anyone's heart. My non chocoholic husband seemed to love it too ;-)

Jewish Apple Cake Recipe | Christmas Apple Cake | Jewish Christmas Baking Recipe



You must be knowing by now that I am a band wagon for simple snack cakes, I love to try and experiment with snack cakes. To be honest I had this bad experience with apple in a cake, I must admit that the last time I made an apple upside down cake it was a disaster since I used a spring form pan and the apple juices got spread in the oven. Silly me did not realise this or rather plan this before doing the recipe. That said I seriously loved the mild flavors of apple & cinnamon in this cake that is so well hugged by a soft spongy cake. Impatient me jumped to cut the cake and had the cake falling apart, but I managed to cut few decent slices and here we go ;-) so don't be in a hurry like me. If you are someone who does not like the Fruit/ Plum cakes for Christmas then you can give a go to this simple yet delicious cake, it tastes great the next day.

Eggless Spiced Sugar Cookies | Christmas Tree Edible Decoration | Eggless Christmas Cookie Recipe


Wow its just 8 days to Christmas and sure the Christmas Spirit is real high for me :-). This year like always I have a huge list of bakes and goodies that I plan to make and distribute for friends and family. I must say that nothing like home goodies ads gifts for this Christmas. I am sure many of you loved to receive gifts that are homemade. I made these spiced sugar cookies that have a lovely flavour that is similar to the flavours your get in a Christmas cake (Christmas Plum cake). Isn't this great? well an experiment in the kitchen turned success is what I would call this recipe. Although I see so many coloured cookies doing rounds over the internet I love recipes that are simple and easy to do which taste wonderful. I sure can say that this cookie is of this category.

American Sugar Cookies | Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies | Christmas Cookies Recipe


Christmas and baking does ring bells to me ;-) I still remember a few years back when I did a Christmas Cake that tuned hard as stone ;-) of course it was way before my life as a blogger. The reason I brought this up is that if you are new to baking don't be worried disasters happen and we must learn our mistakes and keep trying until we get them right. If there is a baker that told me that not one of their bakes was a disaster I will sure have a good laugh. No one is a born expert we all learn, relearn, explore and create. Baking of course is science in pure sense but if you have a good recipe then you sure are going to have a good result. Well enough with the rambling and yes this is one fail proof recipe that may be you should give a try. I am sure it will turn out just perfect.

Sugar cookies or old fashioned sugar cookies are sure in a baker's list to bake for Christmas. They are pure easy and can be packed in goodie bags and distributed in parties. They are firm on the outside with a sift inside and not too firm like our Indian variety of biscuits. Sugar cookies have a buttery flavour along with a dash of vanilla. 

Thinai Paruppu Sadam | Thinai Arusi Paruppu Sadam | One Pot Foxtail Millet Recipe




Arusi Paruppu Sadam is a famous Kongu Nandu Recipe, from South India. Almost most homes in Coimbatore and nearby towns cook this sadam of rice and thoor dal. Today for a variation I made this Tamilian favourite rice dish along with Thinai/ Foxtail Millet. I must share the goodness of millets and why our forefathers ate them, they are filled with fibre, proteins, minerals and vitamins. They are so filling and yet gluten free, a great addition if you are someone who wants to diet but eat healthy. Since they contain complex carbohydrates they are great for diabetics. Nowadays with the boom of many organic stores in India we find these millets priced high but mind you millets are in general organic because of the nature in which they are cultivated since they are resilient to pests. 

I must tell you that I am so loving this combination of millet and dal makes it wholesome with added vegetables. I felt so full just like eating rice but I know this is sure a healthy alternative to white rice. Foxtail millet does not have any distinct taste like brown rice, they are bland and require flavouring or can be paired with curry. 

Eggless KulKuls Recipe | Kalkals | Kidyo | Sugar Glazed Curls| Goan Christmas Palaharam Recipe



Kulkuls / Kalkals / Kidyo is one of my favourite snakes during Christmas. Amma usually makes a small batch that serves for our family. Not only does she make this during Christmas but otherwise too. I can't believe that we are in December 2013 and this sure was a speedy year. Since there are 16 days to Christmas I thought let me share our family favourites during this season. Being Tamil Christians we make lots of edible goodies that we call as Palaharam. A good list of 8-10 sweets and savouries that are made in a huge batch and served as gifts to friends and family every year. This year I am trying my best to be a good wife and make palaharams at home ;-) hopefully my family enjoy them. Christmas is a season to celebrate the birth of Jesus into this world. Just as the Father gave us His son, Christians everywhere make goodies and distribute them. Not only edible gifts but other gifts to near and dear. Lets celebrate the true meaning of Christmas and stay close to our family.

Kulkuls are traditional Goan sweet snack traditionally made for Christmas and served to near and dear during the festive season. They are deepfried and sweet, but the version I have shared here is partially sweet since I wanted to use powdered sugar I did not add much sugar to the dough. You can go ahead and increase the sugar content. The texture of Kulkuls are a firm outside and soft inside. The trick is in shaping the kulkuls so take care and practice a few times to get the exact shape. 

Vazhaipoo Poriyal Recipe | Banana Flower Stir Fry



Vazhaipoo / Banana Flower is a large reddish blossom that grows along with bananas and interestingly every part of the banana plant is used for cooking recipes in the Indian cuisine. Much as banana flower is popular I must admit that cleaning them is sure a challenge, but after you cook them you can be sure that it was worth all the effort. I must say that banana flower is very good for women in particular and has many medicinal values which are sure to be considered while you plan to cook them up. 

Vazhaipoo poriyal is a mild tasty vegetarian stir fry that goes well as a side to rice and curry. This is a basic recipe that you can try if you are cooking vazhaipoo / banana flower for the first time. Take note that I have used one entire banana blossom for this recipe. 

Fresh Ginger Tea | Inji Tea | Ginger Tea with milk | Ginger Chai

Marriage has taught me all things tea ;-) since my husband is a coffee lover I am so bored over coffee that my morning is never complete without a fragrant tea. A few weeks back I had posted my favorite Cardamom Tea and Sukku Kaapi (Dry Ginger coffee)today I want to share another version of tea which is really soothing and it is Ginger tea. In fact you can do a fusion of Cardamom and Ginger tea for better taste. So with my hot cuppa I am so glad to invite you over for today's post. in my hometown you will find many tea wales selling ginger tea in huge carriers that they transport in cycles and for just a mere Rs4 you will get awesome fresh and piping hot ginger tea.

Ginger is inevitable in Indian cooking. Most Indian recipes call for Ginger/ Garlic paste. But it would not be fair if I don't mention few of the many benefits of Ginger along with this recipe. Ginger has many medicinal properties of which the key benefits are aids digestion, improves immunity, relieves stress, relieves menusural discomfort and nausea, reduces inflammation, increase blood circulation and respiratory disorder to name a few

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