Another piece


Queens cake

80grams butter

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1tsp vanilla essence

1 cup chopped dates

1 cup boiling water

1tsp bicarbonate soda

1 1/2 cups plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Pre-heat oven to 180C

Place dates, boiling water and bicarbonate of soda into a saucepan and stir over a low heat until dates are soft and pulpy. Set aside and allow to cool

Cream butter, sugar and vanilla. Add eggs and beat well

Stir in date mixture and add walnuts

Fold in the flour, salt and baking powder

Pour into a greased 25x25cm tin and bake at 180C for 40-50 minutes or until cake springs bake went touched

Cool on a wire rack

Source ABC –


Paneer capsicum curry

(A Railway Curry: A Railway curry is me trying to replicate the taste of the subzi of the railway station puri-subzi. This is a made up recipe – possibly a bit generic)

250 g paneer, cubed small

1/2 cup of vegetable oil, I used rice bran oil

One dry red chilli

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

One onion, chopped fine

One tsp grated ginger

Two cloves garlic, chopped fine

One green chilli, chopped fine

A pinch turmeric

A pinch red chilli powder

2 tsp garam masala

2 tbsp plain flour

One green capsicum, chopped small

Salt to taste

Fry the paneer in the oil, and set aside In the oil fry the red chilli, mustard seeds, then onion. Add garlic, green chilli and ginger. Fry till well cooked. Add turmeric, red chilli powder and garam masala. Stir well then add the flour and keep stirring. Add capsicum, stir with a sprinkle of water. Add the paneer and cook with two cups of water. Salt to taste.


Semolina orange cake

1 cup sugar

11/2 cups vegetable oil (I used Olive which gives the cake a bitter after taste, not advised)

4 eggs

Zest and juice of 1 orange

2 cups semolina

1 cup self-raising flour

11/2 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 165 dec C

Place sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, orange zest and juice into a bowl

Mix with a hand mixer until ingredients are well combined

Stir together semolina, flour and baking powder until combined, then slowly add it to the wet ingredients while mixing.

Grease baking tin ( I used a silicone mould)

Bake at 165 deg C for 45- 50 minutes, until golden brown ad the cake is firm in the middle.

Source –


Chilli Corn Bread

125g plain flour

125g polenta

1 tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

5 spring onions, finely chopped

2 eggs

142 ml sour cream

125 ml sunflower oil

Grase tin ( I used a silicone mould)

In a large bowl, mix the flour, polenta, baking powder and salt together

Add the chilli and the spring onions to the dry ingredients, and mix well

In a mixing bowl, beat the gees together with the soured cream and sunflower oil. Pour the mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients. Mix everything together quickly and thoroughly.

Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake at 200 deg C.

Cool slightly, turn onto wire rack and cut into squares.

Serve warm.


Simple vanilla cake with icing

My first commission – to bake for a ten year old.

(the cake was a disaster – baked too long and turned out too dry. To redeem myself I baked again two days later – and it turned out okay)

A Masters in Social Design

I get the news today on Facebook that Ambedkar University Delhi is open for admissions to its masters program in Social Design. I resist the temptation to add an ‘at last’ to the title and move on.

You can see the Program announcement here –

I go into my blog to find the posts I was publishing as I was imagining a new school of design to be started in New Delhi. It is 2008, I have just stepped down from the position of Program Director and am very excited to do new projects. I bump into the Vice Chancellor and his Advisor at the India International Centre in Delhi. They say they would like to set up a School of Design at a new university! Would I work on this?

In 2003 I had worked on a similar project with the Advisor (then Dean of Planning at Delhi University) – visualizing a School of Design for Delhi University. So we had a connection. And I had another pro-bono venture taking off as it turned out.

The new university, as we sipped coffee, had at that time only three employees. The two people I was with and their driver. I am excited and running red hot suddenly – and launch into how the future should be non-object, non-elitist and non-urban. At the end of half and hour they say – send us something. I come back and through Nov and Dec 2008 have my vision drafted. As I draft my thoughts leak out into my blog – so I assembled that stuff, plus a paper I published on ‘service design for India’ below.

The vision was – an integrated UG (4 years) in Social Design, and two PGs (2 years) in Service Design and Social Innovation. You can see the documents and the program structure of the three programs here –

You can see the argument for the vision here (a conference paper I published with Liz): The Social for India

Yes its now a PG in Social Design – but its great that its non-object, non-consumption focussed and focussed upon social engagement.

I am chuffed/ this is great news to start the day/ wondering about the curriculum! And so it goes.

New Design School at Ambedkar University Delhi

Nov 10, 2008

There is to be a new School of Design in New Delhi. This will be in the new university – AUD or Ambedkar University, Delhi. See link below to the site of the university.

The School of Design

Nov 10, 2008

I wrote this in October – as a starting of a vision document for the Design School (AUD)

Design School Vision

Nov 28, 2008

I finally started writing – the tool kit for a new School of Design. A tool kit because a vision is so self aggarandising. Tool kit is so much more participative. For now the tool kit has three parts – a way to do a take on design.

Integrated Design

Dec 8, 2008

I have been looking at the Bachelors in Integrated Design offered by the Koln International School of Design. This means I have considered it from many angles and there are many things I like about it.

A New School for India

Dec 9, 2008

So I ask the question – can a design school be set up which lets go of its professional anchorings (in the art and design framework ) to focus all its energies upon this population of people?

Design Education for the future

Dec 10 2008

Such a design school then offers design education along two lines: Service Design and Social Innovation.

Social Design it is

Dec 22, 2008

I have just come back from India. And from Presenting the School of Design vision. For now its all go – and that is really exciting. In short the vision argues for three new kinds of courses: …

And for the future >>

Service design for India

July 15, 2009

Soumitri Varadarajan – Service design for India: The thinking behind the design of a local curriculum | Re-public: re-imagining democracy – english version


Spongy Vanilla Cake with Chocolate Icing


1 cup white sugar

125g butter

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla essence

1 1/2 cups plain flour

1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease and flour a 23cm x 23cm cake pan or line a muffin pan with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla essence.

Combine flour and baking powder, add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Finally stir in the milk until mixture is smooth. Pour or spoon into the prepared pan.

Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes. For cupcakes, bake 20 to 25 minutes. Cake is done when it springs back to the touch.


4 tablespoons (80g) butter

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons milk

1 1/2 cups icing sugar

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

In a saucepan, melt butter and brown sugar over medium heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved, then add milk. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.

Sift together cocoa and icing sugar. Blend into butter mixture and add vanilla. If consistency is too stiff, add more milk.

Spread quickly over cooled cake, as icing will set very fast.