Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Diwali Special- Besan Ladoo

I am made this ladoo recently; you know one of those days which fall between Diwali and Dussehra where we just cant have enough of sweets?! Its one of those days....
Its really very easy and will easily make at least 15 ladoos.

Besan/gram flour: 2 cups
Cashews and raisins: handful
Ghee: 1/2 cup
Sugar: 1 cup
Cardamom Powder: a pinch

  • Heat 3/4 cup Ghee in a heavy bottomed pan and add besan flour to it. 
  • Fry the flour until slightly brown; stir continuously. 
  • Remove the flour from flame and let it cool a bit. Now add the sugar and cardamom powder, dry fruits and mix well.
  • Shape the ladoos round with the remaining 1/4 cup of ghee.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

4th Wedding Anniversary!

Where has all the time has gone by? It seems only like yesterday that I was a new bride sitting in the temple along with hubby getting married. 4 years have gone by since then and it seems impossible. Perhaps this is what people mean when they say, "time flies". I would change nothing at all if I had to go back to that day. We got married in a small Balaji (Lord Venkateswara) Temple in a small town with close family and friends witnessing the ceremony. Of course for reception dad invited more than 1000 people; which is besides the point.

Here is one of my favorite pictures taken soon after the ceremony. Something about the way we held hands I guess, I can still feel the magic looking at this picture.
Below is a fruit arrangement which my sister-in-law has sent us from Calgary. Isn't it beautiful? If you all ever plan on giving a fruit basket as a gift to someone, you can take this idea :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Festival season- Carrot Halwa

The entire month of Oct is filled with joy, holidays and most importantly sweets! is it not?! So, even at home I am trying to make as many desserts as possible. Usually I dont make these many desserts on any singe month. 

There are soooo many recipes for carrot/gajar halwa. I have tried several of them and here is one of the easiest and quickest. It doesnt take that long to cook because we are not going to be cooking this in milk like the traditional halwa. The other day hubby made chicken biryani and while he was at it, I made this halwa for dessert! Yummy!

Carrots: grated, 2 cups
Sugar: 1/2 to 3/4 cup (increase this according to taste)
Cashew nuts and raisins: a few
Ghee: 5 tbsp
Cardamom powder: a pinch

  • Heat ghee in a heavy bottomed pan and roast the cashews and raisins a little. keep these aside.
  • In the same pan, add the carrots and gently stir for about 5 minutes. 
  • Add sugar to the carrots and keep the flame in medium. Stir once in a while.
  • Let the carrots cook along with sugar for about 15-20 mins. 
  • Stir in the cardamom and check the taste of the halwa. You might want to add more sugar at this point. 
  • Once you are happy with the taste and the rawness of the carrots is gone, add the dry fruits. 
  • Switch off the flame and serve either hot or cold. I like my halwa hot. 
I am also sending this recipe to Roshans Sunday Special Event. as I have made this on a Sunday evening :)
I am also sending this entry to Anu for her Diwali Festival of lights event.

    Friday, October 7, 2011

    Dussehra Special- Sandesh (A Bengali Favorite)

    Hope you all had a blast during Durga Puja! I sure did have mine. I mean, I couldn't go dandiya and all but still managed to make a few sweets (simple ones) at home.
    To be honest, I had never been too good in making Bengali desserts. Somehow even Misthi Dhoi (sweetened yogurt) was a total flop in my kitchen! But Sandesh was a super hit. I cant believe that something which has a simple recipe like this can taste so divine. I am not kidding, of all the Bengali desserts, this one sure takes the cake. 
    Please note that the traditional recipe calls to make paneer (un-aged cheese) at home. Since I am 7 months into pregnancy, I hardly have enough energy to stand in the kitchen for a long time, I cheated and used Ricotta cheese in place of home made paneer. There are lots of variations available online to this recipe and this is one of the easiest. No surprises that I chose to make it this way :)

    Below measurements would make 15 small sandesh.

    Ricotta Cheese: 1 cup
    Sugar: 4 tbsp
    Condensed Milk: 3 tbsp
    All Purpose flour (maida): 1/4 tsp
    Almonds/cashews/Raisins and saffron: a few

    Mix all the ingredients above (with the exception of items under garnishing) well until it becomes a smooth paste. Heat a heavy bottomed pan in medium flame and add the mixture into it. Stir continuously until the mixture leaves the sides of the pan. It took me about 10 mins. switch off the stove and let the mixture cool a bit.
    When its cool enough, make small balls out of the mixture and flatten them. Actually you can make any shape you want. Garnish with the dry fruits. You dont have to use saffron; I used it on cashews to bring out the color.

    Hope you all enjoyed this simple, yet, divine recipe.

    Wednesday, October 5, 2011

    Dussehra Special- Coconut Ladoos with condensed milk

    Happy Dussehra to everyone!! I hope all of you are having tons and tons of fun during this festiva season.

    This is yet another easy to make ladoo recipes. Of course there are several ways to make coconut Ladoos but this one takes the cake when it comes to time part! Yes, this hardly takes 8-10 mins!! Here is the recipe.

    Condensed milk: 1 cup
    Dessicated coconut: 2 cups (leave a few tbsp aside)

    Heat a heavy bottomed pan and add the coconut. Fry for a minute and add the condensed milk. Stir the mixture until everything is well combined.
    remove from the heat and roll the ladoos in round shape when the mixture is cool enough. Now, take the remaining few tbsp of coconut and roll these ladoos in that to give the ladoos a good texture.

    Sunday, September 11, 2011

    Paneer do Pyaaza (Cottage cheese with tomatoes and onions)

    Oh my! Its really been long time since I blogged! Time flies by. Still 3.5 months to go for baby; after she is here, it will be impossible to post recipes...I might as well post regularly now.
    Below is on of those easy recipes which can be made in a jiffy. Quite a lot of people add green peppers to it but I like my paneer do pyazaa plain. So here it is..

    Paneer: 2 cups, cut into small cubes
    Onion: 1 medium, chopped fine
    Tomato: 1 ripe, big, chopped
    Cilantro: handful, chopped
    Capsicum (peppers): optional, 1 cut into cubes
    Garam masala: 2 tsp
    Red chili powder: 1 tsp (increase or decrease to suit your taste)
    Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp
    Lemon Juice: 3 tsp
    Cumin: 2 tsp
    Oil: 3 tbsp

    • Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. Once they splutter, add the onions.
    • Fry the onions until they are half cooked and add turmeric powder and chili powder. Stir and add the tomatoes.
    • If you are using peppers, now would be the time to stir in those.
    • Once the tomatoes are soft and cooked, add garam masala and salt. Stir and add paneer cubes. 
    • Let the flavors blend in for about 5-8 mins and stir in cilantro. Switch off the stove and remove from heat.
    Serving suggestion:
    Goes very well with all the Indian breads.

    Tuesday, August 2, 2011

    Pavakka Poriyal (Karela/ Kakarakaya)

    I am sure most of you already know this recipe. I am posting this anyway to remind you all that this is out there...its been a while since you made this...today you might want to try :)
    A simple recipe with lots of flavor, hubby loved it.

    Pavakka: 2, washed and chopped thinly
    Fresh coconut: 1/4 cup
    Green chili: 2
    Salt: According to taste
    Oil: 3 tbsp
    Curry leaves: 1 string

    • Some people dont like the bitter taste of pavakka. Washing pavakka in light butter milk helps remove some of the bitterness. 
    • Heat oil in a pan and add curry leaves
    • After they are crispy, add the pavakka pieces.
    • Meanwhile, grind the coconut and green chili together.
    • After the pavakka is completely fried, add the coconut mixture and stir constantly until the raw smell of the coconut is gone. 
    • Add salt and remove from stove. 
    Serving suggestions:
    1. Goes well along with sambar or rasam.
    2. You might also like Stuffed Bitter gourd
    3. Pavakka Kuzhambu
    4. Pavakka Fry