This particular Bengaluru home designed by Aakriti Saraf marries minimum upkeep with maximum storage

When former LinkedIn India product head, Akshay Kothari and his fashion designer wife Manya moved to India from San Francisco in 2017, they knew the move would be short-term. Yet, what this young couple wanted was to build a perfect home that was warm, fun, contemporary and inviting—for them, their guests and their baby girl.Fortunately, Manya, whose family is in the construction industry, signed up for the task. It wasn’t long before they identified a 5,000 sqft penthouse apartment with a terrace in Indiranagar, the stylish and lively heart of Bengaluru. Bringing the verdant outdoors into the roomy indoors was a huge attraction for them and the terrace, coupled with Bengaluru’s great weather, really just ticked all their boxes.Planning distinct yet seamless spacesThe informal living area opens up to the dining spaceShamith PatilLocated on the top floor of a low-rise building, theirs was the quintessential builder’s dream (it is two flats converted into one)—a bare shell complete with a 1,000 sqft terrace overlooking a large, lovely children’s garden. There were also generous common spaces that needed to be divided into different sections for the family to use. “We were keen on hunting down a designer who would help us convert this house into a home, who understood our needs and was aligned with our design sensibilities,” explain the Kotharis. And they found their match in interior designer Aakriti Saraf, founder of Bengaluru-based Aakriti Saraf Designs.

Dazzling Diwali Tablescape

This particular Bengaluru home designed by Aakriti Saraf marries minimum upkeep with maximum storage

Tips for moving out of Country

COVID and WFH: A Must-have – Resonate UPS for wifi router

Ask the Experts: How to Ban Puffy Eyes for Good

Ask the Experts: How to Ban Puffy Eyes for Good

Image: ImaxtreeLate nights and early mornings are associated with the daily grind. Then there is the unsexy aftereffect of tired, puffy eyes. Think lack of sleep is the only culprit? Think again. “With aging a piece of tissue located under the eyes called the septum becomes thin. Normal fat pads located beneath the septum can then herniate (break through) causing a bulge under the eyes,” explains consulting dermatologist for Clark’s Botanicals Dr. Donna Bilu Martin.Diet is clearly a key player in bags under eyes and excessive puffiness. Avoiding salty foods or checking the labels on processed foods will definitely save you grief later. If you overdo it with seasoning (or even alcohol), rehydrate with water before bed. Plus, let’s not forget the thin, delicate skin area can be damaged by sun exposure. Not to mention environmental toxins (like smoking), which lead to excess sagging and wrinkling.“Eye puffiness is the result of an excessive amount of fluid retention in the connective tissue surrounding the eyes,” explains dermatologist Dr. Patricia Wexler. “We most commonly deal with the weakened ligaments that hold the fat back and eventually let the fat fall forward and bulge. The bags under eyes become more prominent when circulation is stagnant while sleeping and become fluid overloaded.” Image: ImaxtreeObviously, the first reflex is to reach for an eye cream. Although finding products that actually stimulate collagen (the plumping factor) and incorporating a daily sunscreen are also key. Board-certified dermatologist and medical director of Dr. Ashley Magovern is a fan of products that contain vitamin C (like tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate). Or ones with niacinamide (vitamin B3) and peptides.“As your undereye area gets stronger, if you can add in a product that contains a retinoid, that’s ideal,” adds Magovern. “Ceramides are one of the best ways to maintain your skin barrier and using a ceramide-dominant moisturizing product is great (can use all over your face, but include the eye area). This will help prevent any inflammation and irritation and allow you to be more successful in using the more active ingredients, which can sometimes cause some inflammation.”How much sleep you need varies from person to person. If you aren’t catching enough, your eyes can look dull, red and unavoidably puffy. “Healthy sleep habits can go a long way when it comes to both undereye puffiness and dark circles,” adds Magovern, “This will work better than any eye cream.” Try propping an extra pillow (or two) under your head. This prevents the liquid from storing up overnight causing fluid to drain downward. Image: Imaxtree“If you have dark undereye circles and/or are hollow, you can use light-reflecting makeup and highlighters underneath your eyes,” advises Dr. Jason B. Diamond, facial plastic surgeon. Use eye drops to help whiten your eyes. An all-power concealer helps disguise dark circles. In addition, color-correcting formulas can be custom blended to disguise imperfections. Final touches, like hints of highlights (on the brow bone) along with lush curled lashes, really make your eyes pop.Also, don’t underestimate at-home hacks. Like tried-and-true cucumber slices. Or caffeinated tea bags. “It is absolutely helpful to use [these] DIY remedies,” explains Wexler. “Both decrease fluid within the fat, green tea [bags] can also decrease inflammation.”Seeking a more permanent solution for how to get rid of bags under eyes? There are definitely things to consider. Make sure you choose a surgeon who is board certified and fellowship trained in the surgery that will be performed. “It can be confusing as there as some physicians performing cosmetic surgeries who may not have the same training and certifications as others,” explains Magovern. “It’s always a good idea to get a few consultations.”According to Diamond: “Different surgical procedures address each problem and it is important to have a thorough understanding of which problem one has so that the most appropriate and effective method can be performed. If not, the problems can worsen.”

Fruit Salad Recipe

Fruit Salad Recipe

Juicy, sweet, healthy and delicious, this tropical Fruit Salad recipe is sure to become part of your regular summer recipe repertoire. Quick to prepare, easy to digest and packed with nutrients, fruit salads are perfect for this warmer weather.

About This Fruit Salad

Fruit is essentially nature’s candy, but unlike refined sugar products, it is actually good for you! I also love that Mother Nature offers us different bounties throughout the seasons, meaning our fruit salads – and the nutrients associated with different seasonal produce – can change during the year.

This tropical fruit salad happens to be my favorite combination of fruits for the whole year. So this summer, do your best to make use of all the sweet, seasonal fruits like mangoes, jackfruit, chikoo and berries.

Fruit salad is a healthy dish, but one has to be careful to choose the right combination of fruits. The wrong combination of fruits can create discomfort in the stomach or even affect your body’s ability to absorb the nutrients.

To be on the safer side, I have chosen sweet fruits like mango, banana, chikoo (sapota), pomegranate, figs, strawberries and papaya for my fruit salad. That said, feel free to adjust your fruit salad based on what fruits are available to you.

I also love how quickly this recipe comes together. With just about 10 to 15 minutes of active time, you can have a bountiful bowl of deliciousness ready to share.

Optional Add-ins

I like to add just a touch of honey to my fruit salads to enhance the natural sweetness and help the fruits macerate a bit, but this step is optional. You can also feel free to swap in a vegan sweetener if you prefer, like maple syrup or coconut sugar.

As a topping, I added some roasted cashew nuts, almonds and walnuts for some crunch, as well as a bit of flavor contrast. Savory and sweet are such a lovely pairing!

If you love fruit salads, then do check this easy Fruit Salad With Ice Cream that has your favorite fresh fruits and vanilla ice cream.

Step-by-Step Guide
How to Make Fruit Salad

Prep Fruits and Nuts

1. If using pomegranate, remove the arils first. I do this by placing halved pomegranates in a bowl of water and removing the arils in the water.

This will help prevent the pomegranate juice from staining your clothes or the kitchen countertop. Remove the arils, drain all the water and set aside.

2. Chop the nuts like 10 to 12 almonds, 10 to 12 cashews and 12 to 15 pistachios or any nuts that you prefer. (Feel free to lightly roast the nuts prior to chopping them for deeper flavor.)

3. Thoroughly rinse the fruits – 2 mangoes, 1 small papaya, 10 to 12 strawberries, 3 to 4 figs and 2 to 3 chikoo (a.k.a. sapota or sapodilla).

Remove and discard any seeds, stems or peels that are inedible. Chop all fruit into similarly sized pieces.

Peel and chop the 2 bananas when you have completed chopping all the other fruits.

Add Fruits and Nuts

4. Add the chopped fruits to a mixing bowl.

5. Add the pomegranate arils.

6. Now add the chopped or sliced nuts like cashews, pistachios, almonds or walnuts.

Add Sweetener

7. Add honey, if using. (You can also opt to use vegan sweeteners like pomegranate molasses, date syrup, palm sugar, coconut sugar or maple syrup.)

Alternatively you can drizzle honey or maple syrup over the fruit salad while serving. You could also completely skip adding the sweetener.

We do not prefer any tangy citrus flavors in our fruit salads. Feel free to include a bit of lemon juice or orange juice if you like.

Make Fruit Salad

8. Gently mix the fruits very well.

9. Serve fruit salad immediately for best results. I usually like to garnish mine with a few sprigs of mint leaves (when I have a stock) or a few nuts. Enjoy!

Serving Suggestions

My tropical fruit salad is absolutely delicious all by itself, but you can certainly use it to dress up other sweet dishes. It pairs wonderfully with:

However you opt to eat this yummy tropical delight, I hope you enjoy it!

Expert Tips

Choice of fruits. Use fruits that are in season. Opt for organically grown fruit whenever possible to avoid pesticides. Wash your produce very well, preferably using a homemade vinegar bath.Ripeness. Use fresh, ripe and sweet tasting fruits only. Do not use under-ripe fruits as they can wreak havoc on your gut. Try to include as many different colors of fruits as possible, as each color is associated with different, specific nutrients.Fruit Pairings. Avoid mixing acidic or citrus fruits with sweet fruits. Melons should not be mixed with any other kinds of fruits. Avoid mixing citrus fruits with milk based items, as the dairy will curdle.When to eat? Fruits should ideally not be eaten after a meal. It is always better to have fruit at least 30 minutes to an hour before the meal.Make ahead? Fruits are perishable and don’t have a long shelf life once chopped. It is always better to consume them fresh. NOTE: Bananas are *particularly* short lived due to their tendency to oxidize and brown. I recommend chopping them last.Add-ins. You can use mint leaves for garnishing as well for digestive properties. You can also add your choice of plain or toasted/roasted nuts or dried berries and edible seeds (sesame, sunflower, pumpkin) for additional flavor.FAQs

Can I use frozen fruits to make fruit salad? Unfortunately, I don’t recommend it. Fruits that have been frozen tend to have a mushier texture when they defrost and release quite a bit of liquid. I’d recommend using fresh, in season fruits for the best results. Can I make fruit salad ahead of time? While you can pre-seed your pomegranate a day ahead of time, most fruits are best right after cutting. I recommend eating the fruit salad immediately after tossing. Any leftovers may be kept in the refrigerator for up to a day, or frozen to use as future smoothie packs. Please note that the banana will change color over the course of just a few hours due to oxidation. How do I keep fruit salad from turning brown? When fruits like apples or bananas turn brown, it is due to something called oxidation. Exposing the fruit to air allows the compounds in the fruit to react to oxygen, which then changes their molecular structure. While acid from citrus can prevent this from happening for a time, it is not recommended to mix sweet and acidic fruits. For this reason, I recommend eating your fruit salad as soon as the fruits are cut for the best results. The longer your fruit is exposed to air, the more opportunity it has to oxidize.

More Salads You May Like!Easy • 30 minsWorld RecipesPotato SaladModerate • 20 minsSalad RecipesSprouts Salad (Sprouted Moong Salad)Easy • 15 minsVegan RecipesKachumber Salad (Indian Salad)Easy • 15 minsSalad RecipesAvocado Salad

Avakaya | Avakai (Andhra Mango Pickle)

Avakaya | Avakai (Andhra Mango Pickle)

A pickle made of mangoes is something that has takers in almost every nook and corner of India. Thus, has variations from region to region. Just like this Andhra Mango Pickle, which is lovingly called as Avakaya or Avakai or Avakaya Pachadi. This uber essential version is made with unripe, green mangoes and is spicy and robust – just like Andhra cuisine. The Avakaya is rightly one of the gems of this famous regional cuisine.

More on this Avakaya Recipe

Although Indian summers are really tough to handle, with temperatures soaring every year, the arrival of mangoes with it bring a certain joy as well. We use mangoes in a variety of dishes – everything from beverages, salads and curries to the quintessential pickles and other condiments.

The same goes for me. Summer means a lot of homemade pickles, syrups and squashes. While I usually end up making this Punjabi Mango Pickle, but it is this Avakaya too that’s quite popular in my home.

The word ‘Avakaya’ is a fusion of two words – Ava and Kaya. The word ‘Ava’ refers to mustard seeds and ‘Kaya’ is for raw fruit or unripe mango here for this pickle. This pickle is also known by the name Avakaya Pachadi.

When for the first time I made this pickle, for the method, I referred to the websites Sailu’s Food and Gayatri Vantillu. However, the quantities for the ingredients in this pickle are mine. I’ve made sure that there’s a balance of pungency, heat, saltiness and spiciness in this Andhra Mango Pickle.

Pickling may need your time and patience in the beginning. But, once you get the hang of it and some experience, it is not rocket science at all! Thus, you should try this recipe of Avakai too, as it is very easy to make. Take care of the cleanliness and moisture bit in everything – mangoes, crockery and cutlery used – and go ahead with it.

Keep the prepared pickle mixture in nice sunlight for best results. If not, it can be kept in a dry place as well. These proportion of ingredients will yield about 2 kg of pickle, which lasts for 6 months to a year. Halve the recipe if you wish to.

This Avakai tastes just lovely with any Indian meal; or just dal-steamed rice, curd rice and even parathas.

Prepping Mangoes

It is a no-brainer that this Avakaya recipe turns out the best with the use of fresh, unripe, firm and green mangoes. However, chopping of these mangoes can be a difficult and daunting thing as the kernel part needs to be intact.

So, it is best to get the mangoes for this pickle chopped into pieces from a vendor. In India, it is a common practice by the vegetable vendors or farmers. Thus, getting chopped mangoes for Avakaya Pachadi is quite easy.

Just in case you plan to prep the mangoes at home, then use a sharp knife as slicing through the hard kernels require some pressure and good knife skills. It can be risky. So, while using it, be very careful too.

As I’m trained to handle knives, I prepped the mangoes for my pickle recipe at home. I used a sharp chef’s knife to chop the green mangoes. Traditionally, an Indian cutter or chopped is used. I must say that there’s a certain joy in this too. But then, you must, must be alert while doing so and be very careful.

If the vegetable vendor has chopped the mangoes, then wipe clean each of the chopped mango pieces with a clean and dry cotton kitchen napkin.

Avakai Do’s and Don’ts

Working Space: Your working space to make the pickle, should be absolutely clean and dry.Cleanliness: You should always use clean and dry spoons, bowls and pans. Sun-drying them is a good option.Hygiene: Your hands should be clean and there should be no moisture in your them. Remove any rings and keep your nails clean and trimmed.Fresh Produce: The mangoes that you use for this pickle have to be unripe, green and with a firm flesh. Don’t use semi-ripe or ripe mangoes. Keeping the kernel attached to the mango pieces helps in the long shelf-life of this pickle.Quantities: Refer to the quantities of the ingredients just as they are mentioned in the recipe. Avoid adding less as some of them aid in the preservation process.Substitutes: As an alternative to chickpeas or chana, you may use 3 tablespoons peeled garlic cloves. In place of sesame oil, you may use sunflower or peanut oil.Jars: Use glass jars, ceramic jars or the Indian ceramic jar called “bharni” to store the pickle. Kindly do not use plastic jars even if you make a small quantity of avakai.Step-by-Step Guide
How to make Avakaya

Prep Spices

1. First, begin by sun drying 200 grams mustard seeds (1 cup + 4 tablespoons) for a day or at least for 4 to 5 hours. This is to get rid of any dampness or moisture in them.

2. Also, sun dry 2 tablespoons fenugreek seeds (methi dana) and 200 grams red chili powder (or 2 cups) for 4 to 5 hours.

I sun dried the entire pack of fenugreek seeds and used only 2 tablespoons from it.

Chop mangoes

3. Soak the unripe mangoes in water for 1 hour. Then, rinse them well and if there is any sticky sap which has dried on the mangoes, rub the mangoes in your palms when rinsing to remove the dried sap.

4. Then, remove the mangoes. Dry them with a clean kitchen towel or naturally.

5. Before chopping mangoes, they should be completely dry. First, slice the mango in halves from its center.

This is very difficult as the kernel is hard and the knife does not cut it easily. So please avoid, if you cannot do this.

6. Then, take each halve and remove the seeds carefully with a knife. Now, halve the mango vertically from the center first. Then, cut horizontally. The kernel part will be intact in the mangoes.

7. Take the mango pieces and remove the thin paper like covering from the kernel part with a spoon or with your hands. Make sure that your hands are clean.

8. Take the chopped mangoes in a large pan or bowl. Cover and keep aside. If using chopped mangoes got from the vegetable vendor, then wipe them clean with a kitchen towel.

Make Avakaya Pachadi

9. Add mustard seeds in a grinder jar. They should be warm (from sun drying), before you grind them.

10. Grind to a semi-fine powder.

11. Remove the mustard powder and add to mango pieces.

10. In the same grinder jar, add fenugreek seeds.

11. Grind to a semi-fine powder.

12. Add the fenugreek powder to the mango pieces.

13. Now, add the red chili powder. I have used Kashmiri red chili powder. You can also use byadagi red chilli powder instead.

Keep in mind the spiciness and pungency of the red chilli powder you will be using as this can result in the avakai becoming very spicy.

14. Add 3 tablespoons white chickpeas (chana). You can also use 3 tablespoons peeled garlic cloves instead of chickpeas.

Also, add 200 grams rock salt (1 cup). You can even use sea salt crystals or Himalayan pink salt. Use salt which is non iodized. If using sea salt crystals, then powder in a mixer and then add.

15. Mix very well with a large spoon.

16. Add 3 tablespoons turmeric powder and mix very well.

17. Now, add 500 ml sesame oil/gingelly oil (2 cups). Use cold pressed sesame oil (kachchi ghani) and not refined sesame oil. 

If you do not have sesame oil, you can also use peanut oil or sunflower oil.

18. Mix very well with a large spoon. Taste the pickle masala and check for salt.

If the pickle tastes slightly more salty, then its fine. The extra saltiness goes away as the pickle matures. But if there is less salt, then add some salt in the pickle and mix again.

19. Cover with a lid (not tightly) and keep the Avakai in a dry place for 4 to 5 days. You can also keep in sunlight for a few hours on these 4 to 5 days.

Alternatively, you can even add the mango mixture in a glass or ceramic jar.

20. Everyday or alternate day, remove the lid and mix the pickle with a clean dry spoon. You can sun dry the spoon for some minutes before you mix the pickle. 

On the fourth or fifth day, you will see oil floating on top of the pickle and the mango pieces would have already softened. Mix again with a clean spoon.

21. Add the pickle in a clean jar or bottle. Wash, rinse and sun dry the glass jar or bottle before storing the pickle. I kept the bottles for one day in the sun.

22. Pour some sesame oil in the pickle jar, which just covers the pickle on top by 1.5 to 2 inches. Close the lid and refrigerate.

You can even keep the Avakaya Pachadi in a dry place for 2 to 3 days more and then refrigerate.

23. When using this Avakaya Pachadi, remove the portion you want in a small jar from the main jar and then serve with your everyday meals.

If the oil on top becomes less, then add some more sesame oil, so that the pickle is covered with oil. Serve Avakai with any Indian meal. You can even have it with steamed rice, curd rice and paratha.


How long can I store this pickle? Refrigerate and keep it good for a year. I forgot to grind the sea salt before adding in this pickle, and it is still undissolved after about 2 weeks. How do I overcome this? You just need to wait for some more days or weeks till the salt granules dissolve. My pickle turned bitter. Is there any way that I can rectify this? You can let the pickle mature for some days, like a week or 10 days. Hopefully, the bitterness will mellow down like this. What kind of mangoes are most apt to make this Avakaya Pachadi? You should use mangoes that are firm, green and sour, and not semi-ripe, ripe or with a yellow or yellowish-green skin. There should be no sweetness in the mangoes, what so ever. Also, while buying, make sure the mangoes are blemish free or with a few blemishes. Should I heat the oil before adding to the mango mixture? No, you can add the oil directly without heating. What can possibly cause bitterness in the avakai pickle? The bitterness in this pickle can be due to the use of excessive fenugreek seeds. So stick to the amount mentioned in the recipe. Should the chana added in this pickle recipe be consumed? Isn’t it hard? Yes, the chana should be eaten. Chana absorbs the oil, masala and the flavors from the pickle. Thus, becomes soft (but not very soft like cooked chana) and tastes delicious.

More Regional Varieties of Indian Pickles!

Sour Cream Coffee Cake Recipe

Sour Cream Coffee Cake Recipe

Next time you’re in need of a little boost, try making my Sour Cream Coffee Cake recipe! Despite being made with healthier whole wheat flour, this tasty snacking cake has a soft, moist, and tender crumb that is simply divine. The addition of a crunchy cinnamon streusel ring takes this afternoon treat completely over the top. YUM!

What Is Coffee Cake?

While this sour cream cake is often called a “coffee cake,” do not be misled. There’s no actual coffee in the cake! Coffee cake gets its name from the fact that it is often served with coffee and tea for brunch or luncheons. When all is said and done, this is just an eggless sour cream cake recipe, and it is divine.

About This Recipe

I had some sour cream left after making Veg Tacos the other night, so I was looking for a good way to use it up. We were feeling a bit of a sweet tooth, so I started perusing my cookbook “Bakin’ Without Eggs: Delicious Egg-Free Dessert Recipes” by Rosemarie Emro. I stumbled upon a recipe for coffee cake, which I loosely adapted into this tasty recipe!

This cake is both egg-free and makes use of whole wheat flour. While some whole grain bakes can take on a dense, dry consistency, nothing could be further from the truth for this coffee cake. It has a soft and moist crumb that’ll have you going back for seconds.

The cinnamon-flavored streusel stuffing is the proverbial icing on the cake. Filled with dry fruits and nuts plus lots of warming spices, the streusel is a lovely contrast to the softness of the cake. I have a feeling you’re going to love it!

The sour cream helps in making the cake soft, moist and rich. While the recipe does call for sour cream, don’t feel limited. You can easily swap in Greek yogurt or hung curd instead.

Also, I have mixed and beaten all the ingredients in a stand mixer, but the recipe will work just as well with a hand beater.

Next time you need something sweet to serve at tea-time, look no further! This eggless sour cream coffee cake is the perfect recipe to see you through.

Step-by-Step Guide
How To Make Sour Cream Coffee Cake

This sour cream coffee cake is made with humble ingredients that simply sing when baked together. Here’s how it’s made:

Prep and make Streusel

1. Grease 2 small bundt (5.5 inches) pans with butter. You can also use a 7.5 to 8 inches round cake tin or 1 large bundt pan.

2. In a saucepan, add 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter.

3. On a low flame begin to melt butter. 

4. Remove the bowl from the stove burner and turn down the heat.

5. Add ¼ cup finely chopped nuts. You can use any crunchy nuts. I have added an equal mix of chopped pistachios, cashews and almonds.

6. Then add 4 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 tablespoon whole wheat flour and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon.

Do use ground cinnamon made from true cinnamon. Avoid using cassia cinnamon powder as it will make the flavors in the streusel highly fragrant and intense.

7. Mix very well. Keep this streusel filling aside.

Make coffee cake batter

8. In a mixing bowl or a stand mixer bowl take 150 grams sugar (¾ cup sugar) and 57 to 60 grams softened unsalted butter (¼ cup unsalted butter). Meanwhile preheat oven at 180 degrees Celsius/356 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes.

9. Using the paddle attachment of a stand mixer, beat on medium to high speed till butter becomes fluffy. You can also use a hand held electric beater to whip butter.

10. The butter-sugar mixture should become fluffy and loose, so beat well.

11. Add the following ingredients:

1 teaspoon baking powder½ teaspoon baking soda½ to 1 teaspoon vanilla extract1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, or white vinegar

12. Beat on medium speed for 30 seconds till the ingredients are incorporated evenly.

13. Add 110 grams of sour cream (½ cup).

Instead of sour cream you can also use fresh curd or yogurt. If you make this swap, make sure that the curd is thick and not thin or watery.

14. Beat on medium-low speed for 30 to 45 seconds.

15. Add 180 grams of whole wheat flour (1.5 cups) and 1 to 1.25 cups of water or add as required.

You can first add 1 cup of water and if the batter looks too thick, then add ¼ cup of water later.

16. Beat on low speed for a minute or more till everything is mixed well and there are no lumps. Do not overbeat.

If batter looks very thick then add more water. I used 1.25 cups water. The batter consistency is thick. Some small lumps are alright.

Assemble sour cream cake

17. Take spoonfuls of the batter and place it in the greased bundt pan. Fill till ⅓ of the volume of the bundt pan. Using a spatula, even the batter.

18. Now evenly spread the prepared streusel stuffing all over the cake batter.

19. Again add some batter and fill it till ⅔ or ¾ ᵗʰ volume of the pan.

20. With a spatula make the batter even from top.

Bake coffee cake

21. Place the cake pans in the preheated oven in the center rack. If using an OTG, then use the bake option where only the bottom heating element is heated.

22. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius/356 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 to 50 minutes or till the top is golden. Since temperatures in ovens vary, make sure to keep an eye on it.

23. To check doneness, insert a bamboo skewer in the cake; it should come out clean. If there is sticky batter on the skewer, this means the cake needs to be baked for some more time. For cooling keep the cake on a wired rack.

24. When cooled completely, unmould the sour cream coffee cake from the pan.

25. Slice and serve.

Serving and Storing Suggestions

26. Serve sour cream coffee cake with coffee or tea or as a dessert. Enjoy!

Keep any leftovers in a lidded container in the refrigerator. This coffee cake keeps well for about a week in the fridge.

On refrigeration the butter in the cake will become solid. So while serving warm the cake in the oven or microwave oven.


Can I make the streusel nut-free? Absolutely! Swap in your choice of seeds, granola, rolled oats, or even crushed pretzels. Are crumb cake and coffee cake the same thing? While the two terms are often used interchangeably, I believe a true crumb cake should have a larger crumb-to-cake ratio than a normal coffee cake. What can I use in place of the brown sugar? Feel free to use raw sugar or unrefined cane sugar.

More Delicious Cakes To Try!

The Hands-Down Best Hiking Clothes for Women

The Hands-Down Best Hiking Clothes for Women

When it comes to spending time in the great outdoors, I’m always looking to strike a balance between function, fashion, and comfort. When an item has all three aspects covered, I know I’ve found a winner.
I’ve spent most of my life hiking outdoors and have finally found a recipe I can rely on for the best hiking clothes. The following are my favorites, prioritizing green companies that care about the environment as well as items that stand the test of time:
Best Sports Bras for Hiking

Just like regular bras, it’s best to try them on to determine if it will fit you well. I personally find the sports bras from Under Armour and lululemon to fit me the best. Bras that are supportive and moisture-wicking are the way to go. The Barely Bra from Patagonia is soft, lightweight and wicks moisture so you don’t have to deal with annoying underboob sweat.
The type of bra you go for probably depends on your body type, so choose something that you know will be comfortable for you. There’s almost nothing more uncomfortable than wearing a bra that is too tight or too loose, so try out your new hiking bra for a couple days before you bring it on a trip to make sure you definitely want to wear it for days on end.
Best Tops For Hiking
Tank tops are great for hiking in tropical climates, or as your base layer for hiking in moderate weather.
Cotton can take a while to dry, so they should be made of moisture-wicking material like polyester. My favorites are the kind with low sides for ventilation, because they make it so much easier to stay cool:

Another great pick, this tank comes in 4 colors, has sun protection and is moisture-wicking:

If the weather is slightly chilly, but not cold enough for thermal shirts, I like these breezy long sleeve shirts that offer sun protection. You can layer one of these under a jacket or vest if the temperature drops, too:

Thermal Shirts

If you are hiking in cold weather, the base layer insulation is essential in not only providing the foundational warmth, but also in making sure that your body stays dry. I love merino wool thermal shirts, and these are my favorites for when hiking in cold weather:
Helly Hansen Lifa Merino crew top (available in multiple colors, which is always a plus to me!)
For my mid-layer insulation when hiking in cold weather, I opt for fleece or wool pullovers. You want something comfortable that keeps you warm minus the weight. I love merino wool for that, as well as Patagonia’s thermals:

I live in my leggings. Some people opt for shorts when they hike, but I much prefer keeping my legs out of the sun (no thank you to hiking tan lines!) and opt for different thicknesses depending on the weather. There’s no hike, except for in extreme cold, that I’ve done without leggings as my pants.
For moderate to warm climates, I prefer something comfy and stretchy. I am in love with the Athleta Elation Crossover Rib 7/8 Leggings, which are perfect for spring, summer, and fall hikes. The new crossover waistband trend is actually more functional than you’d think, serving even more comfort on top of the cute and flattering look.

If it’s particularly cold, I prefer these thick North Face leggings that are specifically for hiking.
Or if I just want to be super comfy doing a casual hike near home, I proudly rock these sweatpants, which come in 4 cute colors.

I resisted vests for a long time although I loved the way they looked. I’d assumed they wouldn’t keep me warm since they lack sleeves, but I was wrong! They’re the perfect splash of color while adding in much needed heat without making it excessive. They’re great for moderate climates.
For cold weather:

For moderate weather:


Jackets will really depend on what kind of climate you can expect. I always bring something waterproof and windproof, like a thin layer, as well as a warm base if I’m hiking somewhere that could get cold.
For colder climates, bring your ski jacket if you have one! I love my ski jacket from The North Face, but have also purchased a couple other brands to test them out. These are my favorites:
The North Face Arrowood Triclimate Hooded 3-In-1 Jacket
Obermeyer Tuscany II Insulated Jacket
For moderate weather, I like these options:
Patagonia Calcite Jacket (a goretex rain shell that is also perfect for wind without being too thick)
Finally, hiking in warm weather does not mean you should leave your jacket at home. There may be rain, strong wind, and if you are doing a multi-day hike, the mountain gets cold at night. When hiking in tropical climates, I like to bring a breathable rain jacket or windbreaker, and a fleece jacket for the night:

Thermal Pants

Sometimes, it’s too cold to opt for just leggings. When I’m showshoeing or in snowy weather, I opt for these cold weather thermal leggings underneath snow pants or ski pants:

Hiking Pants
I always hike in leggings! My favorite are lululemon and these stylish pairs I designed myself. They are just so much more comfortable than pants. However, if I am entering the jungle, I put these hiking pants on:

Hiking Boots
I like the Montara boot for all of my hiking trips, but if you want something with a bit more style, Blundstones would work well, too:
Ahnu Montara eVent III Hiking Boots
For hiking in tropical climates, I tend to just wear my usual running shoes.
Camp Shoes
If you are on a multi-day hike, your toes will want to be able to breathe at some point. Many hikers swear by Crocs, but I just can’t bring myself to buy them (sorry not sorry!), so I opt for these cool KEENs:

Hiking Gloves
Sometimes you’ll be on a rainy trail, or will experience cold, and you’ll want gloves to keep you warm. Make sure your gloves are waterproof and insulated:

I hope this helped you find some functional but also stylish hiking clothes. After trying all kinds of cheapies, I can confidently say that gear that will last forever, and is often made with recycled materials by greener companies, is way better in the long run. So pick your favorite colors, opt for something that pops, and enjoy the adventure!

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Our Best Potato Salad

Our Best Potato Salad

Here’s how to make the best potato salad recipe! This American-style salad is creamy and classic: maybe even better than Grandma’s.

There are loads of ways to make a good potato salad: German or French, loaded with dill or tossed in a tangy vinaigrette. But the type that holds our hearts is the American classic: just like Grandma’s or the grocery store deli counter! Here’s our best potato salad made the American way: creamy, tangy and sweet, and loaded with crunchy onions and pickles. It’s that pale yellow color that betrays the combination of mustard and mayo, and is destined for stardom at your next cookout or picnic. Prepare yourself in advance for the question: Can you bring that potato salad again?

Ingredients for the best potato salad recipe

Here’s how to make potato salad: the American way! Gather up your bottles of mayo, mustard and pickle relish for this one. This retro-style festival of condiments really does make for the best pop of flavor. We’ve made some updates to the classic recipe, adding Greek yogurt to stand in for a little mayo and fresh dill for an herbaceous pop. Here’s what you’ll need for this recipe:

Yukon gold potatoes: the variety here is important! Also called gold potatoes, they have a lightly sweet flavor and keep their shape when boiled. Do not substitute red skinned or russet potatoes!White wine vinegarCelery stalksGreen onionsRed onionFresh dillSweet pickle relish (or dill pickles) MayonnaiseGreek yogurt or sour creamYellow mustard and Dijon mustardCelery seed

How to make potato salad

The trickiest part of how to make potato salad? Boiling the potatoes! There are several variations on the best way to do so. Critics argue over whether to peel and chop before or after boiling. Here’s what we recommend:

Quarter the Yukon gold potatoes, then place in a pot of cold water. Leave the skins on: they’ll come off easily later. Boil the potatoes 8 to 15 minutes, until fork tender. Drain and rinse them under cold water. Pop off the skins with your fingers, then chop into smaller pieces. When they’re cool enough to touch, the skins come off easily after boiling. Another trick? Sprinkle them with vinegar and salt before mixing (read more below).Mix the potatoes with the sauce and vegetables. Chop the veggies, mix the sauce, and add it all together. Go to the recipe below for quantities.Chill 2 hours. This salad tastes great right away, but it’s best when it’s cold. If possible, refrigerate it for 2 hours before serving.

Tips and ingredient notes

The basic method is simple, but it does take a bit of time to prepare this potato salad. But don’t worry: it’s absolutely worth the effort in the end! Here are a few notes about the process:

Sprinkle the potatoes with vinegar and salt, and let stand for 5 minutes before dressing. This trick from Julia Child is also part of our French Potato Salad recipe. It infuses the potatoes with tangy flavor before dressing them, which amplifies the flavor of the dish. Use sweet pickle relish for a classic flavor, or dill pickles for more savory notes. Sweet pickle relish adds just the right sweetness to the overall mixture. But chopped dill pickles work too: they intensify the savory notes. Greek yogurt or sour cream pair perfectly with mayo. Many salads use only mayo in the dressing. Adding Greek yogurt or sour cream in combination with it lightens the flavor. Greek yogurt also makes less calories and adds a slight tang. Dijon mustard adds complexity. Yellow mustard is key to this classic recipe, but we love it with a little Dijon mustard in combination. We regularly stock both in our fridge. If you don’t, using 100% yellow mustard works too.

Storage info

This recipe just gets better over time! You can make a batch and store it in the refrigerator for days. Here are best practices when it comes to storage:

How long does potato salad last refrigerated? Up to 5 days. The flavor gets even better over time. How long does potato salad last outside? Up to 1 hour. If serving outdoors, you can leave it unrefrigerated up to 1 hour, then return it to an ice-packed cooler.How long does potato salad last at room temperature? Up to 2 hours. But try to minimize the time sitting at room temperature if possible. Can you freeze potato salad? Freezing is not recommended because of the mayonnaise. Mayo doesn’t freeze well and can separate after freezing, and the potatoes can become discolored. Celery also doesn’t freeze well. The best way to extend the life is keeping it in the refrigerator.

Potato salad variations

Want to try another spin on this classic recipe? Here are a few variations that can compete with this tasty recipe:

This best potato salad recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free. For vegan, plant-based and dairy-free, go to Vegan Potato Salad.


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Here’s how to make the best potato salad recipe! This American-style salad is creamy and classic: maybe even better than Grandma’s.

3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes*
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar, divided
1 ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
3 large celery stalks
5 green onions, thinly sliced (both white and green portions)
¼ cup red onion, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
½ cup sweet pickle relish (or chopped dill pickles)
½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
3 tablespoons yellow mustard (or 2 yellow and 1 tablespoon Dijon)
1 teaspoon celery seed

Boil the potatoes: Quarter the potatoes, keeping the skins on. Place them in a large saucepan filled with cold water. Bring it to a boil and cook for 8 to 15 minutes until tender when pricked with a fork. Drain and rinse the potatoes under cold water. Allow to cool slightly, then peel the skins off with your fingers and cut the potatoes into bite-sized pieces. Place the potatoes into a bowl and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the white wine vinegar and ½ teaspoon of the kosher salt. Mix and let stand 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, prep the salad: Slice the celery stalks in half lengthwise, then thinly slice them. Thinly slice the green onions. Mince the red onion. Chop the dill.
In a large bowl, mix the mayonnaise, Greek yogurt or sour cream, yellow mustard, Dijon mustard, celery seed, 1 tablespoon of the white wine vinegar, ¾ of the teaspoon kosher salt, and plenty of fresh ground pepper. Add the potatoes, celery, green onion, red onion, and sweet pickle relish and stir until fully combined. For best results, chill 2 hours before serving. Stores 5 days refrigerated.


*The variety here is important: use Yukon gold or gold potatoes for best results.

Category: Side dishMethod: BoiledCuisine: SaladDiet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Potato salad, potato salad recipe

What does Deepika Padukone pack in her bag?

What does Deepika Padukone pack in her bag?

As a seasoned flyer, there are a few essentials the actor with a 66.4 million-strong Instagram following swears by. Quirky gadgets she’s bought online—“This guy here became my best friend in the pandemic,” she says demonstrating a compact phone stand for impromptu Zoom calls. Also on the travel checklist are a face mist to rehydrate her skin after transatlantic flights, an adapter that works in every country (“With this I can survive anything”), and sunglasses to cover up any tiredness or “to glam up a look.”Not many know, but Padukone’s mother was a travel agent. The holy grail of any seasoned traveller? Collecting airline miles, a hack she learned early on in her career from her mum. “My airline cards are more important than my credit cards,” she declares as she picks out a Louis Vuitton card wallet that inhabits the 36-year-old actor’s multiple self-laminated airline cards.Among the silk hair ties— “that feeling when you can’t find a scrunchie is something every woman can relate to! So I always make sure I have one in my bag”—, orange blossom perfume, tortoise shell sunglasses, mouth freshner, is an essential kit packed to perfection. Its contents? “Medicines, a pen to clean stains, alka seltzer, safety pins, band-aids,” she counts down all the quick-fixes neatly curated and filed away in her bag. “Does anyone want anything?” Padukone asks the crew. Personally, we would like a crash course in fitting our entire world in our bags the way Deepika Padukone does in hers. It’s a lifelong skill.Press play to find out what else Deepika Padukone keeps in her bag on the daily, for Vogue’s ‘In the Bag’.Director: Benjamin WhitleyStyled by Head of Editorial Content, Vogue India: Megha Kapoor Barcelona Production: Motif Management ; Nuria Bosch, Anna CastroCamera Operators: Ednaldo Ferreira , Nicolas ClausenSound Operator: Borja BarreraAssistant Stylist: Gisela Castells and Rupangi Grover Makeup: Tina Monzon /Kasteel Management for Guerlain Hair: Noelia Corral / Kasteel Management Editor: Darnell Depradine Head of Video, International: Ezzie Chidi-Ofong Video Team: Leandra Behrens , Darnell Depradine, Carmen Gaggero, Francesca Hartley, Nikki Hopkins , Tom Sandford , Benjamin WhitleyAlso Read: Deepika Padukone: “My South Indian accent was frowned upon and I worried about being written off because of it”This just in: Deepika Padukone is the first Indian to become a Louis Vuitton House Ambassador

Making a Case for Crochet This Summer

Making a Case for Crochet This Summer

When someone says the word crochet, most of us think of afghans. But nowadays the term covers everything from clothes to bags and even workout apparel. That’s because the fashion world has collectively decided that crochet clothing is in style.The movement began when Altuzarra, Carolina Herrera, Missoni and Ulla Johnson offered cool crochet clothing as integral parts of their Spring 2019 collections. And the trend wasn’t a one-season wonder. For Spring 2020, Kate Spade New York, Giambattista Valli, Fendi, Jil Sander and more joined the revival. Crochet is still going strong with many designers going all in this season.Now our favorite online retailers are stocked with stellar options. But don’t dismiss these knits strictly based on their see-through nature. Many modern crochet items provide more than enough coverage. And for those pieces that require showing some skin, look at it as another opportunity to hone your warm weather layering skills.You have your fast-fashion options in case you’re on a bit of a budget. Surprisingly, many of them look like they could be straight off some runway. So there’s no need to break the bank.From cropped tops to midi skirts to delicate dresses, these are the must-have crochet items of the season. Sea Hayden Crocheted Wool-Blend Shorts, $385 at Net-a-Porter Zara Open Back Crochet Knit Dress, $49.90 at Zara Isa Boulder Blue Nylon Vest, $585 at SSENSE ROTATE Birger Christensen Nola Cotton-Blend Crochet Pants, $220 at Mango Crochet Crop Top, $49.99 at Mango Tach Clothing Gloria Crochet Shorts in Lilac & Orange, $253 at Tach Clothing Zara Floral Crochet Knit Skirt, $69.90 at Zara Free People Rosarita Crochet Top in Ivory, $148 at Free People Zara Crochet Straight Skirt, $69.90 at Zara Staud Patrizia Dress in Wallflower, $345 at Staud Mango Cotton Crochet Top, $59.99 at Mango Savannah Morrow Tiva Cutout Crocheted Cotton Maxi Dress, $580 at Moda Operandi Zara Floral Crochet Knit Top, $49.90 at Zara

Virgin Mojito Recipe | Mojito Mocktail

Virgin Mojito Recipe | Mojito Mocktail

Mojitos are one of the best ways to cool-off on a really hot day, especially during Indian summers. This Virgin Mojito, a mocktail version, has fresh basil leaves (easily swap with mint) which makes it all the more cooling and refreshing. Just a few ingredients muddled together, you can’t get an easier Mojito Mocktail recipe than this. Go for this Lemon Mojito at once!

About This Virgin Mojito

An original mojito always uses fresh mint leaves, lemon or lime juice, sugar, white rum and club soda in its preparation. However, I decided to make a mocktail version and a virgin mojito recipe by omitting the rum and add a touch of basil instead of the mint. And the mojito drink simply turned out awesome.

The peppery pungent taste of the basil compliments the tangy citrusy notes of the lemon very well. Lemon and basil together, is surely a winner combination for this Mojito Mocktail recipe. Rejuvenating indeed, in summers.

It is a healthy practice to consume a lot of water and fruit juices during summers. Doing this helps to keep your body well hydrated. It also takes care of your skin, hair and overall health.

But make sure you’re preparing your own fresh juices at home and not drinking the processed ones loaded with artificial flavors and sugar. It’s always good if you are clean drinking too.

You can prepare this Lemon Mojito with water instead of soda. It can also be made in many batches and refrigerated for further use. Makes for a cool non-alcoholic party drink.

More on Mojito

Essentially an iconic Cuban cocktail, mojito is made with alcohol (white rum), lime/lemon juice, mint and soda. It is best consumed ‘on the rocks’ (poured over ice) and is a favored drink during summers.

There are many variations of the authentic spirit-based mojito recipe. For instance,

Dirty Mojito – made with key limes, dark spiced rum, brown sugarGreek Mojito – made with Metaxa, an amber spirit from GreeceEnglish Mojito – made with Sprite, gin and sometimes has cucumberMojito Royal – uses champagne as an alternative to sodaMalibu Mojito – has flavors of coconutHowever, the one made sans any alcohol is popularly known as a Virgin Mojito. This Lemon Mojito With Basil is one of those. This can also be made with other fruits like pomegranate, mango, orange, litchi, berries, etc.

Basil is a lovely herb. Just like in this Lemon Mojito, the taste, zingy-ness and freshness that basil imparts to any dish, is really amazing. In addition to this, it has some volatile oils which have various medicinal properties and benefits.

I also love basil because it is a versatile herb that can be used to make flavored oils, in desserts or sauces like Pesto or Pizza Sauce with which you can make more delicious dishes like this Pesto Pasta and Pesto Pizza. There’s already this Lemon Mojito recipe as a fab basil-y beverage too.

Not to forget, you can use the fresh leaves just as it is in your salads, as a topping on pizzas, other snacks and starters. A ‘basil steam’ can also help ease stubborn headaches. Boil water with dried basil leaves, inhale the vapors and feel the magic.

Step-by-Step Guide
How to make Virgin Mojito

1. In a mortar-pestle or in a pitcher/cocktail shaker, take ⅛ cup basil leaves (about 18 to 20 small basil leaves), 2 slices of lemon or lime, 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar and a pinch of salt.

2 tablespoons sugar will make this drink sweet. If you want a predominant tangy taste, then add 1 tablespoon sugar. To make the drink diabetic-friendly, add a sugar substitute like stevia. You can also use honey instead of sugar.

2. Muddle (lightly mash or crush) all the ingredients with a pestle or muddler. Do remove the lemon or lime seeds, if any.

3. Spoon the muddled ingredients in two glasses with all the juices and extract left in the mortar.

4. In each glass, add 1 tablespoon lemon juice or lime juice.

5. Add some crushed ice or ice cubes.

6. Pour soda, sparkling water or chilled water. You can also add half-half of soda and chilled water. Stir well with a stirrer or spoon.

7. Serve Basil Lemon Mojito immediately.


Is Thai basil and basil same? Can I use thai basil instead of regular basil in this recipe? Though they belong to the same plant family, they are not the same. Thai basil has a unique sweet flavor which is different than the regular basil. However, you can use Thai basil instead in this recipe. I love the flavor of fresh mint in mojitos. Can I use it in this? Yes, you can use fresh mint this recipe too. My mojito turned a bit bitter. What can be reason? It may be due to excess tearing or crushing of the basil leaves or mint leaves. Also try not to use the leaves with the stems as these can make the mojito taste bitter. Can I make this mojito with water? Of course, you can make this mojito with water too. What is the alternative to sugar if I want to make this mojito diabetic-friendly? You can use sugar substitutes like stevia.

More Popular Mocktails To Try!