Therattipal (Palkova)


No festive occasion or social function among Tamilians is complete without therattipal as one of the dishes in the cuisine. A very laboriously prepared dish by simmering huge quantities of milk over low flame to reduce the bulk with constant stirring to ensure that the milk does not get burnt, this dish is quite time- consuming too. Once “Aavin” started selling this sweet it became an easily accessible sweet in our family and the effort one needs to invest was forgotten.  At one point in one of my family member’s place I happened to taste microwaved therattipal and it was quite like the traditional dish and was pleasantly surprised to learn that it takes principally just two ingredients and less than 15 minutes to prepare the sweet. In a family that loves this sweet, there couldn’t have been a better treat!

It saved the bother of full-cream milk and sweat over the steady stirring The caramelization is so perfect that it gives you the color as in traditional preparation.

The best part is that we do not have to worry about sugar proportion and the texture that depends on the milk quality. Yogurt added ensures on the grainy texture and gives a lovely feel.


Condensed milk  1 can (400 ml)

Thick yogurt  2  tsp

Ghee ½ tsp

Almonds (slivered)  2 tsp

Saffron strands 1 pinch (optional)  but I prefer to add them


  • Grease a large glass bowl (1 liter or bigger) with ghee and pour the condensed milk into the bowl. Add the yogurt to the milk and mix well to blend the curd and milk.


  • Place in the microwave at 900 W (high) for 5 minutes  and make sure to track the cooking.  Stir every 2 minutes to ensure a smooth texture. You will see the granular texture and caramelized color appearing after about 3 minutes or so.


  • Reduce the wattage to 600 W and micro for another  minute or two until the mix looks solid and all fluid is vaporized. Add saffron strands and mix well.
  • Remove from the oven and let it cool to room temperature. Garnish with almond slivers.


Chef’s Note

  • Clarified butter (ghee) is not part of the dish but used to grease the bowl to avoid the grains from coating the wall.
  • Ensure the bowl is twice the size of the quantity made to avoid spill-over while cooking.
  • As the milk has a lovely taste and flavor I do not use cardamom although some may prefer to add the same.
  • Do not transfer immediately after removing from the oven as the color may be lighter. let it wait to cool to get the color.
  • For those who prefer to avoid microwave oven, the same can be done on gas flame in a heavy-bottomed wok over low flame and it may take about 15 to 20 minutes.

Orange-Lemon Eggless Cake




ornge-lemon cake


The simple thought of citrus oil gets one ecstatic and if it were to combine with the juices and go into a cake  it can only be divine!

Ever since the Hall of Fame Contest was held in the Forum “HomeBakers Guild” I have been planning to bake orange cake as I saw some members post lovely eggless versions.  It took me so long to finally act and make my version based on the inputs from other bakers, to mention cookwithpriyankavarma being one such.  Where orange gives flavor the cake tends to be sweet and I wanted  a tangy kick too with the flavor of orange. I decided to added lemon juice and its zest and ended up with a cake that was simply bursting with flavors. While baking the aroma was so wonderful that I could not wait for the cake to rest after baking!!! Despite my haste the cake (though it lost its swelled look) was spongy, nice crust on the outside, and absolutely moist and soft inside.



Dry ingredients

All purpose flour  1¼ cups

Baking powder 1 tsp

Baking soda ½ tsp

Table salt 1 pinch

For the wet part

Sugar ¾ cup (preferably powdered)

Condensed milk 1 tbsp

Yogurt ¾ cup

Butter 2 tbsp (at room temperature)

Corn/Sunflower oil ¼ cup

Fresh Orange juice ½ cup

Fresh Lemon juice 2 tbsp

Orange zest ½ tsp

Lemon zest ¼ tsp



  •  Sieve together the dry ingredients into a bowl to get a smooth mix, if needed a couple of times.
  • In a small bowl whisk the yogurt and condensed milk to get a smooth consistency. Mix orange and lemon juice as also the zest in another bowl and keep it ready.
  • Whisk the sugar, oil, and butter with a  spatula to get a smooth flowing consistency.  No need for heavy whisking; it is enough till the mix looks smooth. Add the milk-yogurt mix to the mix and blend well.
  • Fold in the dry mix gradually and gently  to get a smooth paste. Add the juice-zest mix  in portions and fold gently to get a smooth batter of flowing consistency.
  • Preheat the oven at 180°C while preparing the cake batter so the oven is ready for baking
  • Transfer the batter to a well greased loaf tin or a cake pan and bake for 30 minutes or till the toothpick comes out clean. Do check the cake after 20 minutes to ensure it is not overdone.
  • Wait for the cake to rest and cool before transferring on to a wire rack even if the aroma is overpowering and irresistible!! 🙂


fresh from oven



  • Slice as per your choice and store in airtight container if any slice remains!!



Chef’s Note

If you like to get a stronger flavor of lemon add another pinch of zest to the juice but do not add add more lemon juice as it is likely to give a sour taste.

A sprinkle of sugar on the baked cake while it is cooling gives it a lovely glaze.

For those who need a tip on collecting zest: wash the orange and lemon before grating the fruit for the zest.. Hold the fruit in your hand and gently grate the orange part of the skin and yellow part of the lemon till you reach the white area. Ensure you do not grate the white part of the skin












Makahna Kheer /Lotus Seeds (4 Servings)


Makhana (puffed lotus seeds)  50 g (app 2 cups)

Ghee 1 tsp

Milk 1¼ litre

Sugar ¼ cup

Condensed milk  ¼ tin (100 ml)

Almonds 15 to 20 (slivered thin)

Pistachios 10 to 15 (slivered thin)

Saffron  1 pinch


  • Cut makhana into halves and roast them in ghee on a low flame. take less than a handful of roasted makhana and crush and crush them well.
  • Heat milk in wide-bottomed pan and let it reduce in quantity to three-fourths its volume.
  • Add makhana (whole as also crushed) and let it cook for 10 minutes on a low flame.
  • Add sugar and condensed milk and let it cook on a low flame till sugar is completely dissolved and makhana is very soft.
  • Add saffron dissolve in milk and garnish with slivered pistachios and almonds.
  • Serve hot or chilled as desired.