Did you see me last night? (Masterchef)

Did you get a chance to see me battle it out last night on Masterchef?! I made a delicious apple puff pastry pie with cardamom whipped cream and it got me the white apron!!! WHHHAAATTT…I ugly cried and everything. It was marvelous.  I was super nervous (as if you can’t tell) and I had my party girl voice going on from talking too much, but it was all worth it!


For those of you who did catch it, what’d you think? Share any predictions or thoughts you might have in the comments!

If you missed it, it’s ok, I don’t hate you, just watch the season premiere here!  #teamhetal

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Aloo Poha (Potato with Flattened Rice)


Aloo poha aka batata poha,for Gujaratis like me, is the essential Saturday morning breakfast dish. Quick. Easy. Savory. Perfect with chai. Poha is flattened rice and aloo/batata means potato. You can find poha in any Indian grocery store or you can buy it on Amazon for super cheap.

This past December I went to India to visit my husband’s family and one of the places his parents took me to was Law Garden where there are tons of street food hawkers. One early morning, my husband and I hungrily followed our parents to a delicious poha stand outside of the park.

Poha Stand in Law Garden

Just looking at the huge mound of poha made my mouth water. The street smelled of onion, garlic, and hints of masala chai. It was enough to make to make me want to take my chances with the street food. Usually I’m pretty nervous about eating street food in India, but that day, I couldn’t help myself! I told them to put everything on it; beets, tomatoes, onion, cilantro….gimme all zee toppings!

My in-laws poha

My poha!

This one dish was my favorite thing I ate during my entire trip in India, and I went to 2 fancy schmancy restaurants in New Delhi. It was spicy, earthy, tart, sweet, garlic-y, onion-y, and refreshing perfect with a mini cup of “chaispresso” (strong brewed chai in itty bitty cups from the street vendors). Now you wouldn’t think this is something you’d have for breakfast, but the amount of flavor packed into this dish is enough to wake anyone up.

My version is super simple, because ain’t nobody got time to shred beets, fry chickpea dough, or cut up a bunch of other veggies in the morning. It was still delicious anyway. Just a simplified version that  is typical of a meal that comes out of a home kitchen. My mom would make this for me quite often as a kid and I loved it! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Aloo Poha (Potato with Flattened Rice)

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Serving Size: 2 servings

Aloo Poha (Potato with Flattened Rice)


  • 1.5 thick poha
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1.5 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 4 curry leaves
  • 1 serrano pepper, seeded and minced
  • 6 baby potatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 medium red onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 3 tbsp cilantro,chopped (optional)


  1. Wash poha in a strainer for 3 minutes under cold water. Drain all the water and mix in turmeric, salt and sugar.
  2. In a medium non stick pan, heat oil on medium high heat. Add mustard seeds and to oil and when they start popping, add the onions and curry leaves. Saute for 1 minute. Add serrano pepper and minced garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Finally add the potatoes and stir well Add salt to taste and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Add poha now and mix well. Sprinkle lime juice on top and stir. Cover the pan and cook on medium heat for 3 minute or until potatoes are tender. Add additional salt to taste if necessary!
  4. Stir in cilantro and enjoy while hot!


Adapted from WeRecipes


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Two more Days until the Season Premiere of Masterchef!

Ahhhhhh!! I seriously can’t wait for the season premiere of Masterchef this week! Don’t forget to watch me compete for the white Masterchef apron! Catch me this Wednesday at 8 PM on the season premiere of Masterchef on FOX!

Also see me quietly freaking out in one of the promos! 

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake for National Chocolate Chip Day!

chocolate chip cookie cake layered

It’s National Chocolate Chip day! YAY! To celebrate, I went BIG with this 3 layers mini cookie cake! Why? Because regular chocolate chip cookies can be boring.

But a 3 layer chocolate chip cookie cake extravaganza make you feel more like this:

I tried to do a ombre effect with the frosting by using different amounts of cocoa powder in the frosting but, I’m not sure if you can really see it. Oh well  – it still tastes awesome! The cookies are super butter-y and chocolate-y and straight up delicious. Honestly there isn’t much for me to say other than the fact that I made it and then immediately stuffed my face with it. Because portion control is for losers. 

Also remember to share you’re re-creations with me by tagging me with #prettypolymath. Also 1 more week before the premiere of Masterchef! See if I get the coveted white apron on May 20th on Fox! I’ll be live tweeting (and maybe Periscoping) throughout the entire episode! Don’t forget to join me on #TeamHetal! 


Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: four 4 inch cakes or one 9 inch cake

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake


    Cookie Cake
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2.5 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • Quick Chocolate Frosting
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp condensed milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 6 tbsp cocoa powder


    Cookies Cake
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Grease four 4 inch spring bottom pans with butter.
  2. Cream butter and brown sugar together until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and mix. Make sure to scrape down the bowl!
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and cornflour. Add to the wet mixture and mix until well combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. Add equal amounts of cookie dough to each pan (if you're OCd like me, it's about 7 oz of dough each) Spread the cookie dough so that it is level. The dough will be wet but try your best to level it.
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes and cook until completely cold.
  6. Icing
  7. Combine butter, powdered sugar, cocoa powder and condensed milk until completely smooth.
  8. Ice the cooled cookies and layer as you wish! You can do two 2 layer cookie cake or one 3 layer cookie cake like me!
  9. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving to help the icing firm up a bit. Enjoy!


Adapted from Sweetest Menu


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Coconut Tres Leches Cake

tresleches (4)

This weekend my friends, Heidi and Zach, threw a little Cinco De Mayo party at their place. To celebrate, I whipped up a tres leches (three milks) cake for dessert! I actually never had tres leches cake until I was introduced to by a fellow Masterchef contestant. I kept her in mind while I made the cake and I think this cake would have made her proud. I put my own twist on the cake by adding coconut milk, making it a quatro leches cake really, but that sounds weird. In addition, I added milk powder to the cake batter to add some more milk-y flavor to the cake. The milk mixture is so good, it took just about all my willpower to not drink it straight from the bowl. There is just a hint of coconut flavor and it’s not overpowering at all. I balanced the flavor out with whipped cream that is only slightly sweet and a dust of Saigon cinnamon. Yum!

I might have had like 3 slices…#sorrynotsorry. It was a hit at the party, and I guarantee it’ll be a hit at your next event!

Tres Leches Cake

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: one 9x13 cake

Tres Leches Cake


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp milk powder
  • Milk
  • 1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • Whipped Cream topping
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ground cinnamon


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F
  2. Grease and flour a 9x13 pan. Set aside.
  3. Cream butter and sugar together until it is nice and fluffy.
  4. Add eggs one by one, mixing in between additions. Add vanilla and mix. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl!
  5. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and milk powder together.
  6. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in 1/2 cup increments, mixing in between each addition.
  7. Pour into the 9x13 baking tin and spread evenly. Bake for 30 minutes and cool completely. Use a fork to poke a bunch of holes into the cooled cake. The more holes the better!
  8. Milk
  9. In a medium bowl, whisk together evaporated milk, coconut milk, milk and condensed milk. Pour this mixture over the cake. Don't worry, the cake will 100% soak up all this milk-y goodness!
  10. Refrigerate the cake while you make the whipped cream. (You can also keep the cake in the fridge overnight and top it with whipped cream the next day.)
  11. Whipped Cream
  12. Pour heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla into a mixing bowl. Whip cream until you have stiff peaks. You can spread the whipped cream on top of the cake with a spatula or pipe it on with a piping bag.
  13. Dust the top with ground cinnamon. Refrigerate cake until ready to serve.

tresleches (3)

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Thin Mints (Leftovers Club)

Homemade Thin Mint

This month I joined a group of food bloggers called The Leftovers Club. I can’t tell you how much food I have leftover from creating recipes for my blog. Instead of eating everything and being a glutton, this club gets together and trades goodies. If you’re a fellow food blogger I highly urge you to join, mostly because I want to try your stuff! Nothing is more exciting than getting a surprise box in the mail full of yummy items!

Onto my recipe! The most magical time of year, for me, is Girl Scout Cookie season.  Every time I see them, I hoard the shit out of them. Samoas, Thin Mints, Trefoils, Tagalongs, oh my. The cravings were coming in hard this week so went to work.

I shared these Girl Scout Cookie knock-offs with Elizabeth from Food Ramblings. Last weekend I made a chocolate cake and had tons of leftovers. Yes..I know it’s rare ,but it happens. Instead of making the usual cake pop/truffle, I decided to do something different. It was super easy and the cookies come out nice and soft with a bit of a crunch. Seriously, the texture is to die for. Plus, dark chocolate and mint pair so amazingly well together that you might have to stop yourself from eating them all.

Make them, enjoy them, because you deserve it 

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Thin Mints

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 20 thin mints

Thin Mints


  • 4 cups chocolate cake crumbs
  • 4 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup flour, sifted
  • 1.5 tsp mint extract
  • 8 oz dark chocolate
  • 3 tsp coconut oil


  1. Pre-heat oven to 275 F.
  2. Mix cake crumbs, melted butter, flour, and mint extract in a large bowl. Mix well.
  3. Press mixture into an ungreased 9×13 baking pan. Make sure that it is level and packed tight.
  4. Bake for 25 minutes. Let this cool completely, then freeze for 15 minutes. Using a 2 inch round cookie cutter and gently cut out your cookies. Place the cookies on a plate and freeze while you melt your chocolate.
  5. Place chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 15 second increments until it is all melted. This took me 2 minutes. Stir in the coconut oil to thin it out.
  6. Dip each cookie into the chocolate, shake off the excess and place on a plate covered with parchment paper. Place the cookies in the fridge for 15 minutes or until the cookies easily peel off the parchment paper.


Thin Mints

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Chocolate Cake, Marshmallow & Fudge Ice Cream

No churn Ice cream recipe

My favorite thing in the world is the middle of a Carvel ice cream cake. I’m talking bout those chocolate bits. As a kid I would actually shaved off the outside and only eat the middle part of ice cream cakes.  My poor mom would get so pissed.  I decided to recreate that experience with some leftover chocolate cake crumbs and added marshmallow fluff and fudge to it for fun.

This is a no-machine, no-churn recipe that I got from one of my favorite Youtubers, Gemma Stafford. Go check out her videos- and learn how to make her drool-worthy desserts!

This ice cream flavor ended up being EXACTLY like the middle part of an ice cream cake! It’s so good! It took just a few minutes to whip up. Also you can make the ice cream base and mix in whatever you want. Gemma has tons of ideas up on her Youtube channel.

I smothered mine with fudge, mini marshmallows and chocolate shavings to make a super decadent ice cream sundae.

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Chocolate Cake Marshmallow & Fudge Ice Cream (No-Churn)

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 6 hours

Yield: 3 pints

Chocolate Cake Marshmallow & Fudge Ice Cream (No-Churn)


  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 can condensed milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups chocolate cake crumbs
  • 6 tbsp marshmallow fluff
  • 1/2 cup fudge ice cream topping


  1. Whisk the heavy whipping cream in a stand mixer until you get whipped cream with soft peaks. Don't over mix or you'll get butter!
  2. Add condensed milk and vanilla. Whisk for 2 minutes.
  3. Fold in the chocolate crumbs. Add fudge and marshmallow fluff and fold. Don't over mix because you want ribbons of the fudge and marshmallow fluff throughout the ice cream.
  4. Pour into a container and freezer overnight.
  5. Enjoy! Make a sundae if you want to be fancy and add whatever toppings your little heart desires!


Adapted from Gemma Stafford from Bigger,Bolder Baking


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