Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Rendez Vous With A Foodie - Manjula Bharath of Desi Fiesta

Every 7th and 20th of the month,am hosting Rendez Vous With A Foodie, an event happening twice a month in my blog,the main motto of this event is to introduce budding bloggers to this immense virtual world.Today is an another special day for me,yep today's host is a wonderful person, before going to know about her, if anyone want to be my guest and if your blog is less than two years please do contact me through Facebook or by a mail with your facebook name to add you in this new adventure.

Coming to today's host, she is a one of my soul mate again, actually i dunno anything about her a year back. I came to know about her only through SN Challenge, an event by  Divya Pramil when she challenged us with the famous Rajasthani Ghevar, its was like hi and bye relation before. Suddenly we came closer through FB coz of guest post by Sangeetha of Spicy Treats,from that onwards we started chitchatting, then only i came to know that Manjula is a Rajasthani gal who speaks tamil,my mother tongue fluently. She is also very special to me as much as like my other virtual family members, my bubbly sister who never fails to make me laugh by her naughtiness.

Do you how she was inspired to start her blog??, she told that am the one who inspired her.Trust me, that day i was like a person who won a jackpot, watelse a food blogger need. Inspring a foodie to start a blog,thats seriously something special na and its was like an achievement for me. Manjula, a super jovial person who speaks tamil like a pakka chennailite never failed to amaze us with her frequent blogging, that too she is a Thali queen who challenged a complete Rajasthani Thali for the SN Challenge, am happy to say that through her i learned many Rajasthani delicious dishes.

With a toddler at home,she is a busy mom but still she cooks easily a Thali and will surprise you. Do you know for Onam she prepared an Onam Sadya Feast.Seriously its rare to see an enthusiastic person like her in this virtual world. Manjula have her own way of cooking and makes anybody to drool in front of her pictures. Needless to say about her pictures, you may think that she own a DSLR,nope she is capturing her food clicks with P&S, whoever go through her pictures wont trust that her pictures are clicked with a P&S. She proved that we doesnt need a DSLR for food photography even with Powershot we can make magic. Today am very proud that she is my guest host today, its was so special and very emotional moment for me. Thanks Manjula for making a beautiful guest specially for me.

Lets hear from Manjula of Desi Fiesta

I was so waiting for this moment where i can express my inspiration to blog . U might not believe me but its true the first ever blog I saw was Priya' versatile recipes . This was when i was a non blogger from past few months I have been silently watching her blog and was so amazed to see an array of innovative and attractive recipes she shares. I had a thought she must be a very popular person in blogging world and she is so .Her recipes made me stun she was a inspiration and her energy level is in tall heights  i can't even imagine touching.Then one fine day I was so inspired by her blog and created a my own blog.Then I was so confused whether she is younger than me or elder bcoz all leave a comment with her name " priya " I thought whatever, she is a senior to me in blogosphere and my guru to inspire me to start a blog. One fine day i will tell this to her actually I was waiting for that day. Then after few months of blogging i got a chance to  chat with her and told her how she inspired me to blog. I personally think it is so wonderful that she has inspired me to blog and there are so many people who get inspired by her cooking. As far as in cooking you all know her, she is a fantastic chef but as a person she is so very kind hearted and a very polite person . After I started blogging  I have been  surrounded  with very kind and jovial friends, with in few months they have become so close to my heart . Priya suresh aks is one among those bunch of friends and my guru in blogging .I thoroughly enjoy being with her and my other friends company, they are 24 *7 available for me.

As you all be knowing today am the guest for this blog and so thankful to priya aks for this kind thought and giving me a chance to include my tiny and simple recipe in her vast collection of recipes. Each and every day i learn a new combo from her recipes she share.I have been trying some of her chettinad recipes and her baking always makes me  spell bound they are always perfectly baked. I admire her energy level and the time she spends to post daily and she is so very punctual. She is now managing two blogs and i love both of them  , a salute to the effort she has been taking for past 4 years till now and being an great inspiration for the budding bloggers . Some of her recipes which sent me to drool are Rajma Murukku , Custard Halwa , her chettinadu kozhamubu collections , Strawberry Rasgulla, and all her baking goodies .The hard work she has been doing is the big part off camera which she had done a fabulous job and doing non stop cooking and blogging is so very impressive .We talk n talk n talk and our chat never ends till it is mid nite for us,sometimes I chat in my dreams too ,I got so attached to them a day never passes till I say a hi hello to them . Its so nice to have friends to whom we can share all our thoughts other than cooking and blogging and the wave length is exactly same for us.So for this baking queen today   I have got some colorful bunches of edible roses and an Indian doll cake for her blog baby hope she likes them. Lets move on to the recipe quickly .

1)Tell us about your blog and you?
My blog Desi Fiesta as the name means Desi feast everyday  which i share with all my readers and  friends. I try to cook both  innovative and traditional recipes. Am was an home science student in my 11 and 12 th so have learn't some of the cooking techniques and terms from there.

2)Before and after blogging, tell us what blogging changed your life?
Before Blogging I never thought I would ever blog as i didn't know there is a thing called blogging exist , after blogging I never thought that I could develop recipes on my own.But my experiments in kitchen have been increasing day by day thanks to blogger. I am using my mind in a gud way and i have gained so much knowledge about  other cuisines via blog hop we do .

3)When and what motivated you to blog about food?
Of course its the person who is asking me this question  inspired me to start a blog and when I said this to my H he motivated me a lot and  he is still cooperating with me a lot by tasting my experiments and reviewing them before I share the recipes in my blog.

4)There are a tonsof blogs/pages on food these days, what accordingto you is the speciality of your blog and the food you cook?
According to me I share all variety of cuisines , traditional , innovative  recipes which would attract all type of readers . But currently my blogger friends are showing great interest in my thali's I make.

5) When it comes to cooking, who is your inspiration?
My mom and my masi(mum's sis ) are my inspiration . They are any time available for me if i have any doubts. My mom is a specialist in cooking all rajasthani recipes whereas my masi is specialist in all south Indian cuisines so they both are boon for me and my blog.

6)Every newbie blogger faces tons of challenges when its comes to blogging, tell me about one of the challenges you faced and how did you overcome it?
I haven't faced any technical probs in blogging till now but if i suppose face any problem ,google is always the first person i consult . I have this feeling that no person is intelligent to answer your queries with in few sec than google so first i'll do google search and find whats the prob, then if you can't find any answers you might have to nag some of your friends .

7)What is your best recipe and your favourite recipes you have blogged till now?
My fav and best recipe which have been in my popular post list and gave me so much recognition was Ghevar which i challenged for SNC  hosted by divya pramil . My favorites also include Parotta Platter, Rajasthani Thali,Eggless Butterless Dark Chocolate Cake and Ona Sadya.

8)Few tips about food photography?
As my blogging guru is priya aks my photography guru is Sangeetha who made me to think its not camera which we might have. A dslr or point and shoot it all depends on the person who clicks it . In the beginning of my blogging i used take pics with flash light as I used to cook most of the recipes in the evening time after my H come back home. But later i realized natural light is so important to get the exact view on how the food appears. I have been taking all my clicks in natural light and i prefer to do so. I take my pics in the patio where i  don't have direct sunlight as the source and so there is no room for harsh light. Since i don't have ample amount of light entering my home i prefer taking my pics in patio . No matter you have dslr or point and shoot,natural light will make your clicks more appealing. Am still an amature photogrpaher but this was the first thing i learned that natural light is the key to photograph a picture well . Lots of blogger's have asked me whether i use a slr or dslr to take my pics but i take it as an wonderful compliment as i use only a point n shoot for now and dreaming for an dslr so its not the cam  matters you can click better than dslr even with your easy to carry point and shoot, just  the focus, angle and lighting matters .

9)What is your budget for the props,do you have any or else do you manage with your household stuffs?
I have got me some probs only for blog as i didn't have any fancy bowls to serve . My monthly budget is 10 - 20 dollars minimum but i don't hunt for probs every month.When i see some very unique props i get tempted and buy them . I feel having too many probs will confuse us more on what to use for a single dish .

10)How do you plan your blog posts? Do you post rarely,regularly or once a week?
I am trying my best to post the recipes regularly but at least 5 days a week is a must for me .

11)Do you have any other passions apart from food blogging or blogs you own?
I have a passion to learn keyboard / piano which H gifted me for my birthday too but am  still  a learner  as blogging takes the priority and hence piano is taking the back bench .

Rose Petit Fours:

1 tin condensed Milk
1 3/4 cups Milk
1/2 cup Butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour/ maida
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
3 - 4 tbsp of rose syrup / roohafaza


Preheat the oven at 350 F for 15 minutes. Grease a cookie tray and line the parchment paper on it .
In a bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder,Baking soda and salt, Keep it aside.

In another bowl,  Mix butter, condensed milk, Milk till well combined .
Add the vanilla extract and remaining and Mix well.
Add the Milk mixture into the flour mixture little by little stiring the constantly and ensuring that there are no lumps formed .
Fill the tray with batter and bake them at 350 C till a toothpick inserted into the center of a cake comes out clean this takes only 10 15 mins as it is sheet cake
Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
After it cools a bit cut them in to bite size pieces or used any shaped cookie cutter which is in bite size and cut the sheet cake. set it a side

For Icing

Icing Sugar - 1 1/2 cups
2 tbsp corn syrup
2 tbsp water
Food colors - as required ( I used Red, Purple and blue)


In a saucepan combine all the three ingredients and turn on the stove to medium flame .
By stirring constantly cook them till sugar melts completely and then for 10 mins so that you get the desired consistency .
If you feel the icing is much thicker you can add a little water to dilute them at any stage.
Now divide the icing to equal parts and dye the colors as required .

 To coat the cakes with icing :

With help of a fork  place  a cut piece of  cake on it  and dip on prepared icing cover with icing from all the sides.
Then place the cake on a wire rack so that the excess icing drips of from the cake.
Decorate the cake as you like with sprinkles .
If you feel the icing is thickened you can little water and make it a bit thin .

To use of the leftover cake pieces you can make cake pops out of them as I did.

Rose Cake Pops:
Ingredients :

Cake crumbs ( I used the leftover rose cake crumbs)
White Butter cream - I used for 1 cup of cake crumbs a 1/4 cup icing ( This depends on the softness of the cake
so add just enough icing till you can form smooth balls out of the crumbs dough)
Cake pop sticks / lollipop stick
1 cups of candy melts/ chocolate
Shortening / oil  ( this is to thinner the consistency of melted chocolate )

Method :
Mix the cake crumbs and butter cream well to form a dough .
After you form a smooth dough divide them to equal parts and roll them
Insert a lollipop stick  dipped in chocolate so that is seals the edges .
In a double boiler  heat oil and chocolates and melt them . It u feel the melted chocolate is very thick you can add more oil .
Now transfer the melted chocolate in a deep bowl .
Now take the cake pop and dip it from all side , slightly shake it and remove the extra  chocolates sticking.
Add some sprinklers and stick them in a thermocol  to dry .
After they dry you can pack them in  goodies bag  and share.
You can decorate all the pops as you wish :)

Indian Doll Cake:
I made this doll cake for my kidoo's 3 rd birthday and for my dear priya ak's blog baby too.

Eggless chocolate cake  -  Hop on to my blog for recipe Click here
Wilton cake pan set - This included the pan and doll
Butter cream icing - as required  ( i used blue color )
Sprinkler - To garnish
Tootie (candy ) - i used pink one for the dupata / shawl

Method :

Pour the chocolate batter in the wilton cake pan mould and bake them at 180 c till a tooth prick inserted in the cake comes out clean.
Cool them and transfer it to wire rack till the cool completely .
After they cool completely cut them in to two layer ,frost them and keep the other layer on top .
Cover the cake with buttercream and decorated it as u wish .
Roll the tootie with a rolling pin and use them as a shawl or dupata.
I did some random strips using my spatula and garnished them with sprinklers .

I so enjoyed being in my inspirator's space and would like to thank priya aks for giving me this wonderful chance to share my thoughts and recipe here :) I loved the sweet chit chat we had aks its been great visiting here !!

Hope you all enjoyed going through Manjula's beautiful bakes, they were super cute na, thanks again Manjula for this wonderful guest post,loved it to the core.

Stay tuned for an another guest post friends.


Vikis Kitchen said... Reply To This Comment

Very nice post and lovely writeup Priya. Admiring the doll and Onam feast now. Congrats to Manjula too.

Akila said... Reply To This Comment

Nice to know about Manjula and that she knows Tamil. I like her food styling and baking things... Great work dear...

nandoos kitchen said... Reply To This Comment

Fantastic guest post Manjula. Glad to know more about you.

Rafeeda AR said... Reply To This Comment

ah... she cooked up an array of dishes for u, how sweet is that... lovey guest post by manjula, loved reading it... :)

Unknown said... Reply To This Comment

Am so honored to be your sole mate priya aks :) you are a true inspiration for many budding bloggers :) U always rock with your innovations and so punctual you are :) Thank you so much for those lovely words aks :) Hugs from me !!! :)

Unknown said... Reply To This Comment

Such a lovely guest post, so lovely to read the chit chat... I am lucky to be friends and sisters with the two of you. Manju loved the cake pops and petit fours :) too cute and I am sure Ishika enjoyed her cake so much

virunthu unna vaanga said... Reply To This Comment

OMG... what an lovable and awesome post... Great recipes for guest post n this time also u proved it as u r Thali Queen by making three types of cakes... Hats off to you dear... Each n every word about Priya aks n Manju is very apt... really am blessed to have friends like you guys...

Priya Anandakumar said... Reply To This Comment

Hats off to you ladies, a very colorful post and a wonderful guest post....

Eat n Eat little More said... Reply To This Comment

Fabulous post Priya.. kudos to both! n manjula u rock with recipes n happy to know more about u

Home Cooked food said... Reply To This Comment

nice to know more about you Manjula and both dishes rocks as usual and clicks too.

Priya said... Reply To This Comment

You 2 share such a very good friendship .She is a rajastani,oh i never have guessed it until you say it.She post all kind of southindian foods.Great to know about manju as well. Kudos to u priya, you are such an insipiring person.

Laxmipriya said... Reply To This Comment

lovely guest post.. loved reading.. :) gr8 pics.. manjula, u r definetly an inspiration..

Unknown said... Reply To This Comment

nice guest post..great to know about all her recipes esp thali and onam sadya dishes...

Sangeetha M said... Reply To This Comment cute & colorful doll & four cakes Priya you also never fail to make us "wow" with your creations..great job dear!
Priya, believe now that you are truly an Inspiration to many in cooking & baking. Hope you will :)