Orange Raisin Muffins with Cookie Butter Frosting

Hello friends. There’s a lot of re modelling going on at home and I just haven’t found the time to post recipes. Things are coming back to normal slowly and I hope to be able to share some recipes with you. However, the weather is insanely hot. It was around 40 C today. Cooking is quite an effort in this heat.

I wanted to try my hand at making cookie butter. I bought some coconut cookies and found a simple recipe online which I will share with you shortly. I liked the taste of the cookie butter. It was delicious and free of preservatives, etc. besides saving on the cost. You just throw the ingredients into the blender and that’s it! You can of course use any type of cookie for this.


Once I made it, I was wondering how I could use it in a recipe. Instead of incorporating it with brownies or a cake batter, I decided to use it as a frosting. It was really, really good. Quite yummy.

The recipe for the cookie butter is from .


This recipe makes around 15 muffins. 

PREP: 30 minutes COOK TIME: 15-20 minutes


2 cups flour

1 tsp soda

1 tsp salt

½ cup sugar

½ cup butter

Grated rind of 1 orange

½ cup raisins

11/2 cups buttermilk

Cookie butter



Preheat the oven to 200 C.

Sift the flour, soda, salt and sugar into a bowl. Cut in the butter until the mixture is the consistency of breadcrumbs. Add the grated rind and raisins. Stir in enough buttermilk to make a soft dough. Spoon the dough into paper cups placed in muffin tins. Bake for about 15 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Cool completely. Frost with the cookie butter and garnish with some sprinkles on top.

Crispy Honey Sriracha Paneer

I found this recipe on Pinterest and I liked the simplicity of it. I had a lot of paneer and I decided to try it instead of tofu. One of the things I noted was that the paneer required a lot more cornflour. I also found that it was easier to fry the paneer as a larger slice instead of cutting it into cubes at the beginning. I cut them into cubes after they were done and gave them a final toss in the pan with the sauce.

I had cooked some Basmati rice and it was nice with the paneer. It’s also ideal to use as a filling for wraps. The honey sriracha sauce is really delectable. The paneer is crispy on the outside and soft inside. I also toasted the sesame seeds before adding them to the paneer.


Paneer is made by coagulating the milk with lemon juice or yoghurt and the resulting cottage cheese can be used in a variety of ways. From appetizers to curries and even sweets, paneer is delicious and healthy. It is a staple food in many parts of India.

This dish can be prepared within 30 minutes and I guarantee you it’s going to be really popular as well. You can find the original recipe at .


PREP: 15 minutes COOK TIME: 20 minutes SERVES: 2


500 gms paneer, sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

21/2 tbsp sriracha sauce

11/2 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp honey

11/2 tbsp rice vinegar

¼ cup cornstarch (for dusting)

½ cup vegetable oil

1 tsp sesame oil

2 tbsp sesame seeds

1 scallion, finely chopped (optional)


Stir fry the sesame seeds in a small pan until they are golden. Set aside.

Remove the paneer from the package and wipe it gently with a paper towel. Slice the paneer and dust the slices with the cornflour until they are evenly coated and set aside.

Whisk the sriracha, soy sauce, honey and rice vinegar in a bowl and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large pan and when the oil is really hot, add the paneer slices and fry on each side until golden brown. Cool and cut into bite sized cubes. Toss the paneer cubes in the sriracha sauce and cook for a further 3 minutes in the same pan. Turn the heat off and add the sesame oil and sesame seeds. Stir to coat the cubes well and serve garnished with the scallions.

Chocolate Nut Butter Cups

These four ingredient chocolate and peanut butter cups is the easiest recipe to make. It’s a great project for children to get involved in! And they would have even more fun eating them!

When you have a craving for something sweet, these chocolate bites satisfy the craving and dark chocolate is so healthy. Studies have shown that dark chocolate is good for the heart and in calming anxiety. And the antioxidants gives the skin a radiant glow.

I used baking chocolate but any dark chocolate works well. You could also use any nut butter and maple syrup instead of honey. Vegans could substitute with agave syrup. This recipe is from Livestrong and makes about 12 chocolate cups.


PREP: 25 minutes COOK TIME: 2 minutes


1 cup dark chocolate baking chunks

½ cup peanut butter

1 tbsp honey

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Melt the chocolate over a bowl of hot water or in the microwave. Scoop a couple of teaspoons into each ice cube compartment. Refrigerate the trays for five minutes until the chocolate just starts to firm up. Mix together the peanut butter, honey and vanilla. Spoon the nut butter evenly over the cold chocolate molds. Cover each compartment with the remaining melted chocolate (about a teaspoon for each mold). Refrigerate another 15 minutes until chocolate is solid.

Liebster Award Nomination

Hello everybody. I was so excited to know that my blog A Hint of Spice has been nominated for the Liebster Award by a fellow food blogger The Journey & Destination. I am really honoured to be nominated – it’s a great motivator obviously. A great, big thank you for nominating me. The Journey & Destination’s blog features amazing food from Starbucks and other cafes and dessert bars and also focuses on delicious food from different parts of the world. There are interesting posts on travel and lifestyle – The author of the blog explains that the journey and destination are equally important to him.


The Liebster Award is a great way to connect with the blogging community and to promote not only one’s own blog but also others’ blogs as well. The rules are as follows:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you, and share a link of their blog on your blog.
  2. Answer the five creative questions given to you.
  3. Write a small post about what motivates you in life.
  4. Nominate other blogs.
  5. Create five unique questions for your nominees.
  6. List these rules in your post.
  7. Inform the people/blogs nominated by you.

Here are the questions that were presented to me and my answers.

1. What is your most memorable post in your blog?

The most memorable post in my blog is a cake that I made recently – Strawberry Meringue Cake. I just love that it has all my favourite foods together – cake, strawberries, meringue and cream in one bite! It was easy to make and looked spectacular and these two things are very important for me.

2. What is your most favourite place that you’ve visited in the world?

Of all the Asian countries I visited, my visit to Singapore in 2008 was very memorable. I loved the cosmopolitan feel of the island. The people were friendly. I was with my family and we had planned our trip. We had breakfast with the chimpanzees at the zoo and visited all the popular tourist attractions. We also did a lot of shopping (obviously). The famous Raffles Hotel was quite charming. I have a bucket list of places I want to see. I hope to travel to the West soon.

3. What is your favourite cuisine?

My favourite cuisine is Indian. Italian comes a very close second. I like to experiment with spices and Italian cuisine pairs beautifully with Indian spices.

4. Which do you prefer, sweet or savoury food?

Sweet of course! I love all things sugary and sweet – just can’t resist it.

5. Which spice do you use the most when cooking?

That’s a very interesting question. The spices I use most are cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, cumin, pepper, coriander, red chillies, turmeric and fennel seeds. It depends on the dish I’m making. I’m also very partial to Black Stone Flower which is a kind of lichen that grows on trees. It’s a taste and aroma like no other – absolutely unique.

What Motivates Me In Life

I set goals and work towards achieving them. I have some future plans and a legacy that I would like to leave behind. These really motivate me to take up new projects in order to fulfill those ambitions. I think about this every day.

As far as people are concerned, kindness and compassion for others is what motivates me. The love and acceptance of family is very important.

Faith in my abilities, gratitude and an unswerving belief that the universe is going to make things alright is what keeps me going.

My Nominees for the Award

Tastes of health

The gastronomy gal

Michelles crazy busy life

Vivienne’s Foodie Diary

Into the light adventures

Questions for the nominees

  1. What inspires you?
  1. Three motto’s in your life are…..
  2. What is your favourite comfort food?
  1. What beverage do you like the most?
  1. Which is your favourite city?

I would like to acknowledge the support and friendship of all the people who have visited my blog A Hint of Spice. It’s great to know that there are so many people who love food. It’s an inspiration to do better and be more creative. A huge thank you to everyone.

For rules, information and FAQ’s please visit

Cottage Bread with Guava Jam

This cottage bread is very simple to make and it’s really delicious. You can try your own combination of herbs, etc. The smell of yeast and bread baking in the oven is just wonderful. There is something so satisfying about making your own bread. I sprinkled some rosemary on the top. I shaped the bread into a round loaf but you can shape it any way you like.

My guava tree was in bloom again and I decided to make some jam. These guavas are white and they are really juicy and tasty. However, they turn pink naturally in the cooking process and this particular jam is a lovely deep red in colour. It takes a little effort to sieve the cooked guava slices but it’s really worth it. The resulting jam was thick, luscious and fruity. I also didn’t use any preservatives except a little citric acid. It has to be stored in a cool place. I had to store mine in the fridge because it’s very hot right now.


A slice of this heavenly bread with some butter and jam is perfect for tea time. This recipe makes one loaf of cottage bread and four bottles of jam.


PREP: 2 hours for bread and 1 hour for the jam.

COOK TIME: 30-40 minutes for bread and 30 minutes for the jam.

Ingredients for Cottage Bread

21/4 tsp active dry yeast

11/4 cups warm water

11/2 tbsp sugar

11/4 tsp salt

1 tbsp butter

4 cups flour

11/2 tsp dried rosemary


Dissolve yeast in the warm water. Add the sugar and salt. Leave covered in a warm place for 15 minutes until the top is frothy. Take 2 cups flour in a large mixing bowl, make a well in the centre and add the yeast mixture along with the butter. Beat until smooth. Add 13/4 cups flour and mix until the dough leave the sides of the bowl. Turn on to a floured surface and knead until smooth. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Turn onto a floured board and shape into a loaf, pressing well to knock the air out of the dough. Place in a greased loaf pan; cover. Let rise for 30-45 minutes. At this point, preheat the oven at 200 C. Sift the remaining flour on the top, after the dough rises and sprinkle with rosemary. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Cool on rack.

Ingredients for the Guava Jam

1 kg ripe guavas

1 tsp citric acid

5 cups sugar


Slice the washed guavas. Add ½ teaspoon of the citric acid to one litre of water in a large pan. Add the fruit and cook on moderate heat. Bring it to a boil and simmer covered for about 15-20 minutes, until the fruit is soft. Cool.

Pureè the cooked guavas in a blender and strain through a fine sieve or muslin cloth. You will get around 5 cups of the guava pulp.

Place the guava pulp along with 5 cups of sugar and the remaining citric acid in a heavy pan. Cook on moderate heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture has thickened. Switch off the stove, spoon some jam onto a plate and cool in the refrigerator. If the jam is not runny, it’s done. If not, boil the jam further until it is thickened. Spoon the jam into clean bottles and cover when they are completely cool.

Gopal’s Famous Vegie-Nut Burgers

These burgers are much loved in my family. I have been making them for the last 25 years. They are so wholesome – rice, lentils, vegetables and peanut butter with spices and herbs. This much loved recipe comes from the famous chef Kurma Dasa of the Hare Krishna movement. It’s from his book Great Vegetarian Dishes, a book that’s been used so much that it smells of food!



Though the recipe calls for brown lentils, I found that brown chickpeas are actually more tasty. I don’t know if these dark coloured chickpeas are found outside India. They are perfect for this burger patty. Once you make this burger, you really won’t miss the meat. It’s really rich and satisfying. I usually make it in bulk and store it in the freezer. The patties are baked and then pan-fried. You could also shape them into rolls and serve them hot-dog style. Either way, they are a real comfort food.

To make this a vegan dish, you just have to substitute vegan mayonnaise/tahini instead of the cream and omit the eggs. You could also use any sauce of your choice, like tomato ketchup, etc. You could also use herbs like basil and oregano with parsley. This recipe makes 16 burgers.



PREP: 40 minutes COOK TIME: 40 minutes


1 cup cooked short-grain rice (it should be sticky)

11/2 cups cooked brown lentils/chickpeas, drained

½ cup carrots, shredded coarsely

11/2 cups breadcrumbs

½ cup peanut butter

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp Chinese sesame oil

2 tsp fresh mint, chopped

2 tsp fresh curry leaves, chopped

1 tsp salt

1 tsp yellow asafoetida powder

½ cup fresh coriander, chopped

1 tsp red chilli powder

To assemble

Barbecue Sauce

Lettuce leaves


Boiled eggs, chopped

Sour cream


Preheat the oven to 200 C.

Process the chickpeas in a food processor until they are coarsely mashed.

Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and knead well.

Pinch off 16 portions of the mixture, roll them into smooth balls, and with wet hands, press them into 3-inch patties.

Arrange the patties on a lightly oiled baking sheet and place them in the oven. Bake the patties for 15 minutes and turn them over until they darken slightly and dry out somewhat.

The burgers can now be refrigerated or frozen. Pan-fry them in butter or oil until they are hot, then use on bread rolls with your favourite sauces, salads and toppings.

I used some barbeque sauce which is a lovely combination with this burger, lettuce leaves, tomatoes, boiled eggs and sour cream to assemble the burger.