Baking | Red Berry Crumbles … Around the World with the Tadka Girls {a book review}

“Each individual has a unique food personality. The key is finding the balance point at which you feel great and are healthy.”
Rachel Frank

Red Berry CrumblesRed Berry Crumbles from a chick lit cookbook. A youthful, racy, around the world in 80 recipes cookbook with a catch to every name. The Tadka girls who blog at Tadka Pasta present fresh and imaginative recipes from their repertoire of travelling the globe. From the bylanes of Shanghai to the farmers market of Santa Monica, they leave no stone unturned. Their experiments in different cuisines have a personal touch … the inimitable Indian Tadka style of their own kitchen.

Red Berry CrumblesRanjini Rao and Ruchira Ramanujan offer you flavours galore, sometimes quirky enough to make you sit up. Real life stories accompany each recipe, setting the scene and connect that make the book more interesting. At times however, the written word tends to get cumbersome. You want to get to the recipe quick.

Red Berry CrumblesWith the book nicely divided into interesting sections – like bites n brews, sweet treats, signature tadka, funnibles etc, there’s plenty in it for everyone. The Red Berry Crumbles was a recipe I enjoyed. Good for an everyday dessert. Go a step further, perk it up a little and make it special for the holiday season!

Red Berry Crumbles The layout and design of the book is something I like; the simple scrapbook layout which adds to the appeal. Not overpowering, yet aesthetic. Notes with almost every recipe are quite welcome. It is thoughts like this that make a difference!

Red Berry CrumblesWhat should I try first from the book? I thought I’d hand it out to junior. NOT something sweet I ‘gently suggested’ {read instructed}! He came back within minutes mumbling Red Berry Crumble. When I said there aren’t the sort of local berries here that we you see in the book, he was quick to retort … they say you can use strawberries! Kids grow up faster than you can imagine. Smarter too. “I checked the ingredients,” he said.

Red Berry Crumbles At times the recipe title font {and dual headings} confuse. Different fonts and different header designs salt and pepper the book. I think fun stuff like this is possibly targeted at the younger reader, new adventurous cooks in the kitchen. The recipes infuse new life into old classics, a pinch of chaat masala here, a tadka there!

Red Berry CrumblesMultigrain tortillas, DIY Oatnut bread, green chutney pesto, cawliflower soup, Tadka’s own chicken curry, chocolate bark, sundried tomato and herb crackers, Tadka style baklava dessert … yumminess aplenty. An African touch here, a Persian footprint there. Interesting indeed!

Red Berry Crumbles The Red Berry Crumbles offer a burst of colour, texture and fun! They bring alive the holiday season. A crumble is right up our street. This looked and smelt fab as it stepped out of the oven! I added some extra fruit to accommodate an extra serving. I also substituted the plain flour in the crumble topping with whole wheat flour.

Red Berry Crumbles That’s just how crumbles are … very accomodating and simmering in rustic goodness. In a few recipes, I find some basic standardisation missing. It’s best to either go with cup measurements or weight. A combination of the two in the same recipe makes me want to retype and correct!

Red Berry Crumbles A serving of light cream on the side, or some ice cream as suggested by the girls, will dress up this simple weekday dessert for guests. I think you can assemble it in advance and pop it into the oven about an hour before dinner! The red juices that spill out of the ramekins will win you over!!

Red Berry CrumblesThe crumble was delicious. The flavours paired beautifully. We loved it!! You could use frozen berries if you like! I threw in some frozen mulberries too. I leave you to dive into the recipe, while I go to explore the book some more!

Before I sign off I’d like to thank Praveen for including Passionate About Baking in the list of the Top Indian Food Blogs of 2013. I am honoured to be part of the list. Humbled too!

[print_this]Recipe: Red Berry Crumbles 
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Summary: A bubbly dessert which is sweet, tart and even mildly spiced. This rustic red berry crumble is a melange of flavours and textures from Around the World with the Tadka Girls

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

  • The Berry filling
  • Juice of 1/2 orange
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped orange zest
  • 1 tbsp all -purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • A dash of chaat masala powder
  • 12 strawberries {fresh or frozen, {do not thaw}
  • 100g raspberries or blueberries
  • The crumble topping
  • 1/3 cup maida {I used whole wheat flour & it worked just fine}
  • 60g cold, unsalted butter, diced
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp oats
  • 2 tbsp chopped walnuts


  1. The berry filling
  2. Stir together the orange juice, zest, flour sugar, salt and chat masala in a medium sized bowl.
  3. Slice the strawberries and mix gently with the other ingredients in the bowl.
  4. Set aside while you prepare the crumble
  5. The crumble topping
  6. Place all the ingredients except the walnuts, in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times till the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  7. Refrigerate till it’s ready to go into the oven
  8. To assemble the crumble
  9. Preheat the oven to 190C
  10. Divide the berry filling into four buttered ramekins, or use a larger baking dish
  11. Sprinkle the topping evenly on top of the filling.
  12. Scatter the chopped walnuts over the filling.
  13. Bake in the centre of the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes. The tops will be browned crisp and the berry juies might bubble over slightly.
  14. Bring the crumble over to the table, and serve while it is still hot from the oven.


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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

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About me: I am a freelance food writer, recipe developer and photographer. Food is my passion - baking, cooking, developing recipes, making recipes healthier, using fresh seasonal produce and local products, keeping a check on my carbon footprint and being a responsible foodie! I enjoy food styling, food photography, recipe development and product reviews. I express this through my food photographs which I style and the recipes I blog. My strength lies in 'Doing Food From Scratch'; it must taste as good as it looks, and be healthy too. Baking in India, often my biggest challenge is the non-availability of baking ingredients, and this has now become a platform to get creative on. I enjoy cooking immensely as well.


  • Love it when the red berry juices overflow and stain… that always tickles me!! you cant go wrong with these crumbles!! beautiful!! and congratulations.. it goes without saying you deserve to be on the list!!

  • 2 years ago

    Deeba, your pics are always so enticing!
    These berry crumbles are perfect for our chilly fall weather, especially to motivate us in decorating for the holidays!
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  • 2 years ago

    aah look amazing!! these pictures look amazing!
    gloria´s last blog post ..Sticky-toffe Bundt CakeMy Profile

  • 2 years ago

    This looks really good. The combo of all these flavors makes me want to try these really bad.
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  • 2 years ago

    I love all your plates :)))xoxoxo
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  • 2 years ago

    Oh wow! Cannot believe how beautiful those crumbles look in that gorgeous setting! Thank you so very much for the review, Deeba. We’re so thrilled that you tried out a recipe and we really appreciate the comments about the book!
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