About Paru's Treats & Crafts

I am a new covert to foodism. Mother of a very naughty toddler, wife of an absentminded tech professional, living in Greater Toronto Area, from South East Asia. My love affair with food started after my marriage, when I found a non-complaining victim a.k.a my husband. I started my exploration into the world of flavor and aroma. As with food blog clichés my interest for blogging came after my own search for recipes online. It piqued my interest in trying out new things. I had to up my game/cooking skills after my son’s birth since he has a refined and sophisticated taste. In other words he is a very picky eater. All the recipes posted in this blog were tested and tasted by humans. With no adverse side effects other than a request for more servings………..at least half the time ;-) I am also blogging about my art and craft. Most of my craft projects are easy DIY’s inspired by watching lot of craft shows. Some of projects are just random crafts that was created based on the materials that I came across in my local craft store. I like decorating my house with decor items created by me and also love giving personalized gifts/greeting cards created by me. I am looking forward to reading all your comments, suggestions and criticism. It will keep me motivated.

DIY Quilled Christmas Greeting Card!!!


DIY Quilled Christmas Greeting Card.

Quilling is an art form that uses strips of paper to create designs. With some creativity and interest you can create beautiful designs. You can buy quilling paper in different colors and sizes or you can make quilling paper by cutting printer paper or newspaper in desired size.

Christmas is all about presents, Christmas tree and lights so the Christmas card I have made has a Christmas tree with some presents and red coloured bows to add a pop of colour and decorative stones to add more glitter.

Processed with MOLDIV


Materials Required

  • 1/8” width quilling paper.
  • Green color – 5 Strips (1 strip makes 3 triangle patterns for the tree)
  • Red color – 6 strips (1 strip for tree topper, 3 strips for gift boxes and 2 strips for bows)
  • Purple color – 1 strip (Gift box ribbon)
  • Fluorescent yellow color – 1 strip (gift box ribbon & tree topper star centre design)
  • Brown color – 1 strip (for the tree)
  • Slotted quilling tool
  • Quilling circle sizing scale (Optional: Will make sizing easier and also uniform)
  • Optional – Border Quilling tool (Triangle, Square and circle Shape)
  • Glue
  • Plain greeting card & envelope
  • Christmas greeting card to cut out “Merry Christmas” (you can also write it yourself)
  • Decorative rhinestones & decorative pearl sticker


STEP 1: Take the desired color quilling paper and insert one end of the paper into the slot of the quilling tool.

STEP 2: Roll the paper end that is with the quilling tool using the quilling tool. Roll it to make a tight coil.

 STEP 3: Remove carefully from the tool, the rolled up quilling paper and place it in the circle sizing scale. The coil will loosen and unroll based on the size you have chosen.

STEP 4: Once the desired size is reached, remove from the scale and glue the free end to the rolled coil. This will ensure the coil does not unwind.

STEP 5: Let the glued up paper coil dry. Make as many paper coils as desired and then shape them all.

STEP 6: Hold the coil between the left hand thumb and index finger and the right hand index finger and thumb to press the coil and make the following shapes.

  • 15 Tightly rolled green triangle patterns for the Christmas tree (I used border quilling tools for making the triangles but you can also make regular circle coils by rolling paper over a pen and press to create triangle shape).
  • 4 loose circle shapes in brown colour for the base of the tree (may use circle sizing scale)
  • 1 large tightly rolled square pattern in red colour to make the tree topper. Remove from the quilling tool and shape the rolled square in such a way to make a star design.
  • 1 tightly rolled yellow circle patterns without gaps in the middle for the centre of the tree topper star.
  • 2 red colour squares for the gift boxes. 4 loosely rolled circle patterns to fill the centre of one gift box and 2 loosely rolled rectangle patterns to fill the centre of the second gift box.
  • 1 yellow colour ribbon for the gift box. Take half of a strip of yellow quilling paper and roll both the ends and wrap it around the gift box by gluing it to the square patterns
  • 1 purple ribbon to decorate the second gift box. Make 2 tear drop shapes using ¼ of quilling paper for each.
  • 8 tear red drop shape designs for the bows and 4 “V” shape designs for the 4 bows.
  • Glue together 2 tear drop patterns to each side of the inverted “V” design creating a bow design.

STEP 7: Place the shaped coils on the greeting card. If you are happy with the design, start gluing the quilled shapes on the greeting card.

STEP 8: Glue together all the green triangles creating a large triangle pattern (Christmas tree). At the bottom of the tree stick the 4 brown coils. Attach the red star with the yellow coil in the middle as the tree topper. Add a pearl sticker on top of the yellow coil.

STEP 9: Stick the gift box patterns on either side of the tree at the bottom.

STEP 10: Glue the bows at different spots to cover up the empty space on the card. Attach a rhinestone to the bows.

STEP 11: Insert the text “Merry Christmas”. I cut out the text from a greeting card and attached it to the quilled greeting card but you can write it as well.

TIP: Use the same technique and create more designs. You can also glue together 2 different color papers, roll and shape them to form double colored coils.

Handmade, personalised Christmas card is ready!!!









Dum Pukht – Restaurant Review

Dum Pukht

Food Legacy of India

Address: 323 Denison Street, Markham, ON L3R 1B7

Cuisine: Indian

Price Range: $65 – $75 (for a 3 course meal for 2 adults and a kid)


Monday – Thursday   11.30 am – 3.00 pm & 5.30 pm – 10.00 pm

Friday & Saturday        11.30 am – 3.00 pm & 5.30 pm – 11.00 pm

Sunday                         11.30 am – 3.00 pm & 5.30 pm – 10.00 pm

Excellent Indian restaurant serving fabulous Indian food in style

We (me and my family) had been to Dum Pukht restaurant in Markham for dinner during the summer and to be honest I was amazed by the stunning décor. We usually check the reviews on yelp or google reviews before we try a new restaurant. When we looked for Indian restaurants, this new restaurant Dum Pukht came up and the reviews were good so we wanted to check out. It was a relatively new restaurant (opened in 2014) with few tables occupied.

We started off with chat papri from the appetizers section of the menu. As mentioned in the menu it had all the flavours like the tangy and sweet taste from the tamarind chutney, mint chutney and topped with chilled yogurt. It was served cold which was perfect for a chat papri. Moving on to the main course we ordered some bread (Latcha Paratha and Missi Roti), Baingan Patiala and vegetable dum pukht Biryani. Even though it took a while to get the dishes it tasted so good that we did not mind the wait time. We requested the waiter to make the eggplant gravy spicy but it wasn’t spicy enough for us, still it tasted yummy so not a big deal. We had never seen missi roti on any of the Indian restaurant menus so wanted to give it a shot and it turned out to be a winner.

Now coming to the most exciting and fun part of the dinner, desserts!!!

They had some of the usual Indian desserts but we wanted to choose something new. We found Raspberry tartoufo to be interesting but they did not have so we chose the Chef’s signature dish Chocolate tartoufo. The portion was good to share and it just melted in the mouth. This might sound a bit exaggerating but it was by far the best dessert I have had in an Indian Restaurant.





Beautifully decorated restaurant serving nicely presented and tasty Indian food.  The one thing that I recommend from my experience is ,they could improve the service by sending the food out with less wait time. Overall I would definitely recommend this restaurant to people looking to taste good Indian food served in style.

PS: We liked the food so much that we went to Dum Pukht again (especially for the chocolate tartoufo) a couple of weeks ago  but they did not have it but still the food was good (I have posted a few pictures below) and also there were lot more people at dinner time compared to the last time we were there.

Multigrain Millets Adai


PREP TIME: 2 Hours



Raw Rice – ¼ cup

Par-boiled rice – ¼ cup

Barnyard millet (Kuthiraivali) – ¼ cup

Foxtail Millet(Thinai) – ¼ cup

Kodo millet(Varagu Rice) – ¼ cup

Moong dal – ½ cup

Toor dal – ½ cup

Chana dal – ½ cup

Urad dal – ½ cup

Ginger – 1 inch piece

Red Chilli powder – 2 teaspoons

Curry Leaves – 1 sprig

Shredded coconut – ¼ cup

Onion – 1 finely chopped

Tapioca Sago (Javvarisi/Sabudana) – 2 teaspoons (soak in water for 2 hours)

Salt – to taste

Oil – 5 tea spoons


STEP 1: Wash the raw rice, par boiled rice, millets and all the pulses. Soak the rice and pulses along with ginger for 2 hours.

STEP 2: Add the required salt and using a blender/wet grinder make a coarse batter.

STEP 3: Add chopped onion, grated coconut, chilli powder, soaked tapioca sago and chopped curry leaves to the batter and mix well.

STEP 4: Heat the tawa/pan, take the batter in a ladle and pour on the tawa and spread the batter making concentric circles.

STEP 5: Add oil on top, cover and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Cook till golden brown on both sides.


TIP: Serve with cilantro chutney, mint chutney, tomato thokku, idly podi or any pickle.








Spectacular DIY Christmas Wreath-budget friendly project-dollar store ornaments and craft supplies



DIY Christmas wreath!!

It’s holiday season and people have started decorating their house beautifully with Christmas trees, lights and Christmas wreath. I was planning on making a DIY wreath for spring and got a willow wreath from the dollar store but never got a chance to make it in spring. Now since it is Christmas, I used the willow wreath I had as a base to make a Christmas wreath. All of the ornaments, garland, decorative bells are from the dollar store.

I am very happy with the way the wreath turned out. I spent $18 in total but since the ornaments and other decorative items came in a pack I still have some supplies left.

Materials Required

  • Pine Garland – 2 packs
  • Decorative glitter flowers – 1 bunch (the green glitter leaves and a green glitter floral stem in the wreath)
  • Christmas tinsel garland (I got the one with cute gift boxes attached)
  • Decorative pipe cleaner strings(chenille stems) to attach the ornaments to the wreath
  • Decorative bow (1 big), ceramic ornaments, tiny bows, ball ornaments & bells
  • Decorative Ribbon
  • Door hanger


STEP 1: Wrap the pine garland all over the base completely without any gaps. As the pine garland is attached to a wire you just have to wrap, twist and tuck it in.

STEP 2: Wrap the tinsel garland on top of the pine garland.

 STEP 3: Secure the glitter bow using chenille stems to the wreath on the top and the bow with the bells at the bottom.

STEP 4: Cut the flowers from the stem and attach them in desired spots. I have used a green glitter pick. I separated the leaves and the flowers and attached them at different spots using the Chenille stems.

STEP 5: I have used 2 ceramic ornaments, Santa and snowman on either side. But this is optional you can use ball ornaments, flowers or the little red bows to decorate.

STEP 6: I have used the ball ornaments to decorate the empty spaces. I tied 3 red ball ornaments together using the chenille stem and attached to the wreath. On the other side I used a green glitter ball ornament attached to a red bow and secured it to the wreath.

STEP 7: Attach a ribbon to the top of the wreath, to hand on the door hanger.

DIY Christmas Wreath ready!!!!


TIP: You can use any kind of decorative ornaments and create a design based on your creativity. Some of the options are berry garland, battery operated lights, ribbons, pine cones and glitter poinsettia flowers.







Fun day at the farm!!!


Apple picking😀🍎🍏

Fall is here and Halloween is right around the corner🍁🍂🎃….so is the apple and pumpkin picking season.

Last weekend being long weekend we wanted to do something fun as a family. The weather has been pretty good (not the usual chilly October weather) in the last couple of weeks so we decided to do some kind of outdoor activity. The first thing that came to mind was Apple picking!!! I have been wanting to go apple picking for a couple of years now but never got a chance (always forgot the picking season and also the weather becomes chilly so end up staying at home with a cozy shawl😬). This year we went to the farm a couple of times during the summer so was keeping track of the picking seasons for the various fruits and vegetables. Thankfully last weekend was the last week of picking for the season at the farm.

There were different varieties of apple but we picked more of the honey crisp and macintosh apples. The honey crisp apples were the best, as the name suggests it was as sweet as honey and crunchy. The macintosh apples had a bit of a tangy taste. We got a little bit crazy and ended up filling a 20 pound bag full of apples. Since we picked so much I have been trying out new recipes using the fresh apples. Each of us also have a quota of eating atleast 3 🍎🍏 in a day😂 (my little one gets scared when I ask him if he would like to have a fruit wondering if I would give him an apple😂 But he was the one who got too excited when picking the apples)😂

The farm also had a children’s play ground and a straw mountain for kids to play. The trees looked beautiful with all the leaves turning into different shades of yellow, orange and red for fall. It was a day well spent at the farm🙂

Below are some pictures from our farm visit. More apple recipes to follow in the next couple of days😀



Apple Pickle – Apple thokku – Apple urkai




Ingredients – roast & grind

Dry red chilli – 10 – 15

Cumin Seeds – 1 teaspoon

Coriander seeds – 1 teaspoon

Fenugreek Seeds – ¼ teaspoon

Curry leaves – 5 sprigs (50 grams)



Apple – 4 chopped (OR) Grated

Mustard – ½ teaspoon

Turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoon

Asafoetida – ¼ teaspoon

Masala powder – 2 teaspoons (prepared using the above ingredients)

Lemon juice – 1 teaspoon (preservative)

Salt – to taste

Sesame Oil – 5 teaspoons


STEP 1: Heat a pan and dry roast the ingredients given under “ingredients – to roast & grind” and make a fine masala powder.

STEP 2: Heat oil in a pan, add mustard and wait to splutter.  Add asafoetida, turmeric powder and the prepared masala powder.

STEP 3:  Cook for a minute and add the chopped apples. Mix well.

STEP 4:  Cook on low heat till the oil separates from the mixture (take about 10 – 15 minutes depending upon the texture of the apple. The apples I used were crunchy so it took about 15 minutes to soften).

STEP 5: Add salt and mix well. Just a minute before turning off the heat add lemon juice and mix well.

STEP 6: Let the pickle cool down and transfer the pickle to a dry glass jar. The lemon juice serves as a preservative so the pickle can be stored for a couple of days.

TIP: You can avoid adding the lemon juice if are not planning on storing the pickle.










Puli Sadam mix – Puliodharai mix – with roasted masala powder




Ingredients – roast & grind

Dry red chilli – 12 to 15

Toor dal – 1 teaspoon

Urad Dal – 1 teaspoon

Split Bengal gram (kadalai paruppu) – 1 teaspoon

Coriander seeds – 1 teaspoon

Fenugreek Seeds – ¼ teaspoon


Tamarind extract – 1 cup

Mustard – ½ teaspoon

Urad Dal – 1/2 teaspoon

Curry Leaves – 1 sprig

Dry red chilli – 2

Turmeric powder – 1 pinch

Asafoetida – ¼ teaspoon

Salt – to taste

Sesame Oil – 3 teaspoons

Roasted cashew nuts/peanuts – 1 teaspoon for garnish (optional)



STEP 1: Heat a pan and dry roast the ingredients given under “ingredients – to roast & grind” and make a fine masala powder.

STEP 2:  Soak tamarind (tennis ball size) in 200 ml of water and prepare the tamarind extract.

STEP 3: Heat oil in a pan, add mustard and wait to splutter.  Add urad dal, asafoetida, turmeric powder, curry leaves and dry red chillies.

STEP 4:  Add the tamarind extract and salt.

STEP 5:  Cook on low heat till the oil separates from the mixture (take about 10 minutes).

STEP 6: Add the prepared masala powder, mix well and cook for a minute.

Step 7: Cook the rice and let it cool down. Add the puliodharai mix to the rice and mix well.

TIP: Add a teaspoon of Sesame oil when mixing the puliodharai mix with the rice to make it more flavourful.









Pazha Payasam – Mixed Fruits payasam – simple – dessert





Mixed fruit cocktail – 2 cans (398 ml/can containing peaches, pears, pineapples, grapes and cherries)

Fresh fruits (optional) – 1 cup (pear and grapes)

Sugar – 30 ml

Condensed Milk – 180 ml

Saffron – 15 strands

Milk – 500 ml (2% fat)

Almonds – 5 (for garnish)


STEP 1: Heat a pan, add milk and cook for 10 minutes on low heat.

STEP 2: In a bowl add a teaspoon of warm milk and add the saffron strands. Leave it aside for a couple of minutes.

STEP 3: Once the milk comes to a boil add the saffron-milk mixture, condensed milk and sugar.

STEP 4: Add the fruits (rinse the canned fruits in water). Cook for 10 more minutes and turn off the heat.

STEP 5: Once the mixture comes to room temperature, refrigerate and serve chilled.

TIP: Garnish with some chopped almonds just before serving.




Kudhiraivali Pongal – Barnyard millet Pongal – healthy – rice substitute




Final 2

Ingredients – for pongal

Raw Rice – 1 cup

Split Moong dal – ½ cup

Pepper – 2 teaspoons (1 teaspoon to pressure cook and 1 teaspoon for tempering)

Cumin seeds – 2 teaspoons (1 teaspoon to pressure cook and 1 teaspoon for tempering)

Ginger – ½ inch piece

Turmeric powder – 1 pinch

Urad dal – ½ teaspoon

Curry Leaves – 1 sprig

Salt – to taste

Oil – 2 teaspoons


STEP 1: Heat a pan and dry roast the moong dal until it turns slightly brown.

STEP 2: Measure the raw rice, add the roasted moong dal and wash thoroughly.

STEP 3: In a pressure cooker, add the rice dal mixture along with a teaspoon each of pepper, cumin seeds and oil. Pressure cook the rice for 4 – 5 whistles.

STEP 4:  Using a mortar and pestle make a coarse pepper-cumin- ginger paste/mixture.

STEP 5: To prepare the tempering for Pongal, heat oil in a pan, add urad dal, ginger-pepper-cumin paste, curry leaves and turmeric powder.

STEP 6: Open the pressure cooker and pour the tempering over the cooked rice. Add salt and mix well.

Final 3

TIP: Serve with coconut chutney or sambar







Romano Beans Kurma – Romano beans gravy

Final 3

PREP TIME: 15 Mins


Ingredients – to cook and grind

Green Chilli -2

Ginger – ½ inch piece

Garlic – 5 pods

Onion – 1 chopped

Tomato – 1 Chopped

Coconut – ¼ cup

Ingredients – for gravy

Romano Beans – 1 cup

Bay leaf – 1

Cloves – 2

Cinnamon stick – 1

Urad dal – ½ teaspoon

Fennel Seeds – ½ teaspoon

Turmeric powder – ¼ tea spoon

Oil – 2 teaspoon

Salt – to taste

Chilli powder – 1 tea spoon

Coriander powder – 1 teaspoon

Roasted cumin powder – ½ teaspoon


STEP 1: Heat oil in pan, add ginger, garlic, green chilli, onion and tomatoes. Let it cool down to room temperature, add coconut and grind it a fine paste.

STEP 2: Heat oil in a pan, add bay leaf, cinnamon, cloves, urad dal and fennel seeds.

STEP 3: Add the onion – tomato – coconut paste.

STEP 4: Cook for a minute and add turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder, roasted cumin powder and salt. Add little water if the mixture is dry. Cook for 5 minutes.

STEP 5: Add in the Romano beans and 2 cups of water. Cover the pan and cook till the gravy thickens and the beans are cooked.

STEP 6(Optional): Garnish with some curry leaves and serve.


TIP: This kurma can be served with chapathi, naan, poori or rice.