Soaking fruits for Christmas cake

Fruit soaking for cake

Christmas bells are ringing and the most wonderful time of the year has come. The spirit of Christmas has made me to try out new recipes in cakes. So,I started this month with the fruit soaking for Christmas fruit cakes. Traditional plum cake or christmas fruit cake requires soaking of dried fruits and nuts for weeks or months in advance. If you like rich and moist fruit cake, then this recipe is for you.

This fruit mix is super easy to prepare. The only thing is you have to shop different kinds of dried fruits and nuts and then chop it into very fine pieces. Christmas cakes are very common across the globe but the timeline for fruit soaking are different in different places. Some may soak before one year, 3 months, 1 month, 2 weeks, and even 2 days in advance.

The most commonly used dried fruits are raisins, prunes, cranberries, dried cherries, candied oranges, candied ginger, dried pineapple, dried apricots, etc. You can choose them as per the market availability and your taste. Almonds, Walnuts, and cashewnuts can also be used along with these dried fruits.

Soaking can be done in rum, wine or juices. The commonly used juices for soaking are grape juice, orange juice and apple juice. But, I always do soaking in homemade wines. If you do not have wine at home, you can go for these bottle juices available in shops. The only thing to keep in mind is that you have to refrigerate the dry fruits if they are soaked in juice. If soaked in wine or rum, they can be stored outside in a cool place.

Eventhough it is a very simple and easy process, the whole process which starts from shopping of dry fruits to cutting them and finally soaking them takes me to a Christmas mood and it is simply amazing. Wishing you all a happy and blessed season !


  • Black raisins – 250 g
  • Golden raisins – 250 g
  • Dates chopped – 300 g
  • Tutti fruiti red,green and yellow- 250 g, each
  • Chopped cashewnut- 200 g
  • Home made grape wine – 2 cups

Method of soaking :

  • Clean dry fruits as required, remove the stems from raisins if there are any. Also, use seedless raisins. Deseed the dates and chop them into fine pieces
  • Add all the chopped dry fruits and cashewnuts to a large glass jar or ceramic jar. Do not use any metal containers
  • Pour the home made wine to the mixture and mix them properly using a spatula
  • Cover with a lid
  • Store in a cool dark place of your kitchen
  • Stir the fruits daily so that they get evenly coated with wine
  • Then, you can use it as per your cake recipe requirements.

Notes :

  • If you want a crunchy nut in cake, avoid soaking of nuts. You can add them directly during cake baking.
  • Some recipe calls for the addition of spices powder (cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg) also to this fruit jar. But I add this spice powder during baking, based on the recipe requirements.
  • The quantity of alcohol or juice should be just enough to immerse the dry fruits.

Yam coconut stir fry

Yam coconut stir fry

Yam is a tuber plant which is very common in kerala. Majority of people in kerala have this plant in their backyards. This plant has lot of health benefits. We can use the root as well as stem of this plant for cooking.

This recipe is a mildly spiced stir fry of yam with coconut. The difficulty is only in the cleaning of yam. Those who find it a bit difficult task can go for the frozen yam packets which are readily available in our markets. They are also known as ‘Surans’.

Yam’s are high in fibre and in omega 3 fatty acids. Due to their high glycemic index, they are good for diabetes patients. Yam’s can be prepared in different ways. These can be added in Aviyal, which is one of the main onam side dish for boiled rice. They can be boiled and can be consumed directly. You can also make crispy chips using this yam. Here is a very simple recipe of yam which you can have along with boiled rice.


  • Yam – 500 g
  • Grated Coconut- 1 cup
  • Garlic – 2 cloves
  • Shallots – 8
  • Dry red chillies – 2
  • Green chillies – 2
  • Turmeric powder- 1/4 teaspoon
  • Mustard – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  • Salt – to taste
  • Water – as required
  • Coconut oil – 2 tablespoon

Method of preparation :

  • Clean and peel off the yam skin and cut it into small cubes
Yam cut into small cubes, soaked in water
  • Pressure cook the yam by adding sufficient water for 2 whistles
  • Wait for the pressure to release naturally
  • Grind coconut, 3 shallots, garlic and green chillies along with turmeric powder
  • Keep the grinded mixture aside
  • Heat oil in a kadai and sputter mustard seeds
  • Add dry red chillies, remaining shallots and curry leaves
  • Now add the grinded coconut mix to the kadai
  • Saute for 2 to 3 minutes and then add the cooked yam to it
  • Close the lid and cook again for 2 minutes in low flame
  • Serve hot with boiled rice.

Pineapple bread pudding

Pineapple bread pudding

Pineapple bread pudding is a dessert which is mainly made of bread slices, pineapple jam and milk. In this pudding, bread slices are simply soaked in the milk with other ingredients and is then steamed or baked.

This is a very simple recipe of pudding. We no need to add any gelatin or agar agar to this pudding. Here, we are steaming the pudding using a steamer. You can also bake the same.

Be careful while preparing caramel for this pudding. You have to stir the sugar continuously in low flame. Or else, the sugar may get burnt and the caramel will become bitter in taste.

I had used homemade pineapple jam in this recipe. I will be uploading the recipe of pineapple jam in my site soon. So, if you do not have homemade jam, you can go for readymade jam which is available in our markets.

The speciality of this pudding is, you can serve it either hot or the remaining can be refrigerated and serve cold. You can store the pudding for 3 to 4 days in refrigerator.

Ingredients :

  • Bread – 8 slices
  • Milk – 500 ml
  • Egg – 2
  • Sugar – 1 cup
  • Pineapple jam – 1/2 cup
  • Butter – 2 teaspoon
  • Vanilla essence – 1 teaspoon

For caramel :

  • Sugar – 4 tablespoon
  • Water – 2 tablespoon

Method of preparation:

  • Mix milk, sugar, 1/4 cup of pineapple jam, vanilla essence and make a custard
  • Add butter and the beaten eggs also
  • Stir till the sugar dissolves completely in milk
  • Soak the bread slices in the milk mixture
  • Mix well till the bread becomes soft
  • Take a pan and add 4 tablespoon sugar
  • In low flame stir the sugar along with 2 tablespoon of water
  • Switch off the flame when the sugar becomes golden brown in colour
  • Transfer the caramel to a vessel and spread evenly on the base of the vessel
  • Then add the milk mixture to the vessel
  • Spread the remaining 1/4 cup of pineapple jam randomly on the top of the milk mixture
  • Cover the vessel with an aluminum foil, and make small holes on the foil
  • Keep the vessel in a steamer for 25 minutes or bake the pudding in oven
  • If the pudding gets detached from the edge of vessel, it means that the pudding is cooked
  • Further, allow the pudding to cool
  • Transfer the pudding to a refrigerator for 2 hours
  • After 2 hours, invert the pudding to a plate
  • Cut it into pieces and serve.

Shredded Beef

Shredded beef

Each pieces of meat are different. The thickness, water content, fat density, the position of bones, all affects cooking time. Fatty cut of beef takes longer time to cook. In this recipe of beef thoran, we should take only the meat portion. Beef is a red meat. A properly cooked red meat is dark and firm to touch. So, cook till the meat is firm.

Here, beef pieces are shredded using mixer. Masala is prepared and is mixed with shredded coconut along with fennel seeds. This recipe can be used serve for 10 persons.

Make sure to keep the flame in medium level, so that the prepared masala, coconut and beef gets sync with each other and provides a delicious taste to our taste buds. If you want to try out a variety and easy recipe using beef, here is a simple recipe for you.


  • Beef (cut into small cubes) – 500 g
  • Grated coconut – 1.5 cups
  • Chopped onion – 2
  • Ginger – 1 inch piece
  • Garlic pods – 6
  • Fennel seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Green chillies – 2
  • Dry red chillies – 2
  • Turmeric powder- 1/4 teaspoon + 1/4 teaspoon
  • Kashmiri chilli powder – 2 teaspoon
  • Pepper powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Salt – to taste
  • Curry leaves- 1 sprig
  • Coconut oil – 2 tablespoon

Method of preparation :

  • Cook the beef in a pressure cooker by adding 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • Heat oil in a kadai and add onions and dry red chillies
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and saute till the onions become translucent
  • Now add chopped ginger and garlic
  • Further add turmeric powder, kashmiri chilli powder and pepper powder
  • Saute them till the raw smell goes off
  • Grind the grated coconut along with fennel seeds and then add it to kadai
  • Crush the beef using mixer grinder and further mix it with the prepared masala
  • Adjust the salt and pepper
  • You can serve it with boiled rice, Chappathi, etc.

Drumstick Spinach Jackfruit seed with shredded coconut

Today we will prepare a dish using grated coconut consisting of spinach, jackfruit seed and drumstick. This is a very tasty dish as the vegetables added here gets sync with each other and provides a delicious taste for us.

Spinach is rich in Vitamin E and magnesium, which supports our immune system. Leafy vegetables are good for your skin, hair, and bone health. So, spinach can be termed as a superfood.

The time consuming task in this recipe is only the cutting and cooking of Jackfruit seeds. But the final result is worth the time spent in your kitchen. Here is the recipe which describes the step by step method of preparation. Have a try if you have all the mentioned ingredients at home. You can have this with boiled rice.

First let’s see the ingredients for this preparation.


  • Drumstick- 1
  • Spinach- 1 bunch
  • Jackfruit seed – 10
  • Shallots – 10
  • Grated Coconut- 3/4 cup
  • Dry red chillies- 3
  • Green chillies – 2
  • Mustard seeds- 1/2 teaspoon
  • Turmeric powder- 1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt – to taste
  • Coconut oil- 2 tablespoon

Method of preparation:

  • Peel off the Jackfruit seed skin and cut it vertically into 6 pieces
  • Wash and clean them and pressure cook it by adding a pinch of salt and 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder for one whistle
  • Wait for the pressure to release by itself
  • Keep it aside
  • Peel and cut the drumstick into pieces
  • Cook the drumstick separately by adding 1/4 cup of water in a vessel
  • Close the lid and make sure to cook in medium flame
  • Once cooked, switch off the flame.
  • Heat oil in a kadai and sputter mustard seeds
  • Add dry red chillies and chopped shallots
  • Then add salt, green chillies and 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Add grated coconut, mix well till the raw smell goes off
  • Then add finely chopped spinach to it
  • Close with a lid for 2 to 3 minutes, and stir occassionally
  • Open and stir the spinach till the water goes
  • Further add cooked Jackfruit seed and drumstick
  • Mix everything properly and cook for 2 minutes in low flame
  • Adjust the salt if needed
  • Prepared dish is ready to serve.

Sardine pickle

Sardine pickle

Sardine pickles are one of the most delicious pickle in fish pickles. Sardines are rich in omega 3. They contain a great source of calcium and vitamin D.

This pickle is not so spicy. I had used kashmiri chilli powder, which is less spicy and provides a good colour to the gravy. Also, adding of vinegar enhances the flavour of our pickle.

The major part of the recipe is the marinating and frying of sardines. Remaining steps are very easy. Once prepared, it will be better to store in 2 or 3 bottles. Use the same pickle bottle till the pickle is finished, because the continuous use of spoon inside pickle is not so good. Or else you can refrigerate the pickle.

I can guarantee you that this is a delicious recipe of pickle and trust me, if you are going with this recipe, the final product will blow your family. That is how this pickle is. You will skip all the other curries if you have this pickle on your table. Do try this and let me know your valuable feedback!

First let’s see the ingredients for this preparation.


  • Sardines – 500 g
  • Turmeric powder- 1/2 teaspoon
  • Chilli powder – 2 teaspoon
  • Ginger garlic paste- 1 teaspoon
  • Salt- to taste
  • Gingelly oil –  to fry
  • Ginger – 3 inch piece chopped
  • Garlic – 15 cloves chopped
  • Green chilli – 8
  • Shallots – 15
  • Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Fenugreek seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Turmeric powder- 1/4 teaspoon
  • Kashmiri chilli powder- 2 tablespoon
  • Pepper powder- 1 teaspoon
  • Vinegar – 1 cup
  • Curry leaves- 2 sprig
  • Salt – 1 teaspoon

Method of preparation :

  1. Wash,clean and cut the sardines into small cubes
  2. Take a mixing bowl and add salt, turmeric powder and chilli powder
  3. Add ginger garlic paste
  4. Further, add the sardine pieces
  5. Mix everything properly and allow it to rest for half hour
  1. Take a non stick pan and add 3 tablespoon oil to it
  2. Fry the sardine pieces till they becomes crisp
  3. You can fry it in 2 or 3 batches
  4. Keep all the fried sardine pieces aside
Fried sardine pieces
  • In the same oil (used for frying), sputter mustard seeds
  • Add fenugreek seeds
  • Add half of the chopped ginger and garlic along with the green chillies
  • Saute it properly
  • Grind the shallots along with the remaining chopped ginger and garlic, and add it to the oil
  • Saute them till their colour changes
  • Add turmeric powder, kashmiri chilli powder and pepper powder in low flame
  • Saute till the raw smell of the powders are gone completely
  • Add curry leaves
  • Add salt
  • Add vinegar and boil the prepared gravy
  • After the gravy is boiled, check the salt and sourness and turn off the flame
  • Allow the gravy to cool
  • Once cooled, mix the sardine to this gravy
  • Store the pickle in an airtight bottle or container.