Thursday, January 26, 2017

Buhrani Raita


BM # 72
Week: 4, Day 3
Theme: Special Theme

Coming to the last day under special recipes Here is a Raita which is really unique. We normally do not add garlic to curd , but here garlic is used to give that amazing , slightly pungent flavor to the yogurt. I also used some finely chopped walnuts and they gave such a wonderful crunch and taste to it. Cumin seed powder and red chilly powder are mandatory spices for raita as, no raita would be complete without them.Serve this special Hyderabadi Raita with Hyderabadi Biryani and you will not need any side dish.

Buhrani Raita

Ingredients

1 cup whisked yogurt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/4 tsp red chilly powder
1-4 tsp roasted cumin seed powder
Pinch black salt
Finely chopped walnuts
Salt to taste

Method
Add the minced garlic to the whisked yogurt.
Add the dry spices and mix well.
Heat a tsp of oil, add finely chopped garlic, temper the raita with it.
Garnish with chopped walnuts and serve with Hyderabadi Biryani.



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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Mirch ka Saalan


BM# 72
Week: 4, Day 2
Theme: Special Theme

Mirch ka Saalan is a signature dish of Hyderabad. Sesame seeds, peanuts and tamarind are the three main ingredients which are key ingredients for Hyderabadi cuisine. The minute we talk of Mirch ka Saalan you know you are in for a delicious dish which has a amazing nutty flavor. The Mirch or the chilly used in the Saalan can be spicy or mild. I have used the big Bhavnagari chilly which is quite mild.

Mirch Ka Saalan

Ingredients
8-10 green chillies
1-2 tsp sesame seeds
1/2 tsp peanuts
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 cup coconut
1 onion, sliced
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
4 tsp tamarind water
1 cup curd
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
Few curry leaves

Method
Dry roast the sesame seeds, peanuts, coriander seeds and cumin seeds.
Saute onion, till transparent.
Make a paste of roasted seeds, sautéed onion and coconut.
Slit the green chillies and Sauté them with a pinch of salt.
Saute the ground paste along with ginger garlic paste.
Add tamarind water and curd.
Add salt and water to adjust the consistency of the gravy.
Add the sautéed chillies and garnish with half a tsp of mustard and curry leaves,



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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Mixed Khatti Daal


BM# 72
Week: 4, Day 1
Theme: Special Theme

Last week of this marathon, and I have picked Special Theme for this week. The special Theme will feature recipes from Hyderabadi Cuisine. This is a spread which I posted some time back and I have posted a couple of recipes from the spread, I still have some more to post.

Hyderabadi cuisine is a royal cuisine and we have a special daal called khatti Daal which is served with Biryani. The khatti daal is made with Pigeon pea daal , but I have made the same daal with mixed daals , a little twist which my guests really liked.

Hyderabadi Daal

Ingredients
1 cup mixed daals
(toor daal , green moong daal, urad daal and channa daal )
1 tomato
1/2 inch ginger, finely chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2-3 green chilly, finely chopped
1 tbsp tamarind tamarind pulp/ lemon juice
1/4 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp red chilly powder
Salt to taste

Tempering
2-3 tsp ghee
1/2 tsp red chilly powder
Pinch hing

Method
Wash and soak the Daals for 15 minutes.
Boil the Daal with tomato,ginger, garlic and salt and pinch turmeric.
Cook the Daal for 3-4 whistles, let the pressure drop .
Check the daal it should be well cooked. Mash it a little.
Add water to get the desired consistency.
Add tamarind pulp, green chilly, dry spices .
Let the daal cook for about 10 minutes on slow fire.
Temper the daal with the tempering ingredients in the order they are mentioned.





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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Til ki Chikki


BM # 72
Week 3, Day 3
Theme: Festival Recipes

Can we miss the Til Chikki for Lohri?No. we can't! So today I have a Til Ckikki for this festival. The last two days I have been posting Lohri recipes like Gud Ka Halwa and Murmure ke Ladoo. The harvest festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm in North India. Lot of goodies are made and Til Chikki is a part of it.

Til is the Hindi word for sesame seeds, these tiny seeds are roasted to give that extra crunch and then mixed in roasted melted jaggery. It is amazing to see variations of this chikki, some make it paper thin, while some grind the sesame . The jaggery is cooked till it releases a wonderful aroma, the color of the chikki also varies, some like it very well cooked while some leave it lighter. I have made a chikki where I did not cook the jaggery too much, and I did not roll the chikki. Just patted it a little with a spatula. Incisions should be made as soon as it starts setting, else we cannot get even pieces.




Til ki Chikki

Ingredients
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup jaggery
1/4 tsp ghee
1/4 tsp Cardamon powder

Method
Roast the sesame seeds till slightly pinkish.
Melt the jaggery in a pan.
Let it cook for another 2-3 minutes, till it is golden.
Add sesame seeds and cardamon powder. Remove on a greased counter.
With greased hands quickly make a round of the mass.
Flatten first with a spatula then with your hands .
You could roll the chikki with a greased rolling pin to get a thinner chikki.
The process needs to be done quickly.
While the chikki is still setting make the incisions with a pizza cutter.
When completely set, break into pieces and store.







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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Murmure ke Ladoo


BM # 72
Week 3, Day 2
Theme: Festival Recipes

For the second day under Festival Recipes I have Murmure ke Ladoo. Few years back every Lohri my neighbor friend used to send me all Lohri goodies, but since we both have shifted to different apartments, it is rather difficult to catch on these occasions. I remember the Murmure ke Ladoo that she used to make, they were awesome. I never thought of making. For a couple of years we got readymade ones, but this year I decided to make and from now on it is going to be Home made ones.

The Murmura Ladoos are one of the simplest ladoos that can be made. The art and taste lies in melting the jaggery . It should be always done on slow fire with constant stirring.The jaggery should be Amber colored , and a wonderful aroma should release before you add the Murmuras. Add a pinch of Cardamon powder to enhance the taste.

The ladoos should be binded quickly otherwise one lands up with a collected mass. One can either wet hands to bind else grease hands with ghee and bind. However you could heat the mix for a couple of mins again and then bind the rest.


Murmure ke Ladoo

Ingredients
11/2 cups kurmura
1/2 cup jaggery
1/4 tsp ghee
1/4 tsp Cardamon powder

Method
Dry roast the kurmura till crisp. Keep aside.
Break the jaggery into smaller pieces and put it in a non stick pan to melt.
Once melted let it turn golden.
Remove from fire.
Add the kurmure and mix well.
Wet your hands and pinch out about 2 tbsp of the mix.
Make it into a round ball.
Similarly make all ladoos.
The process of making ladoos should be quick as the jaggery stars drying.



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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Gur ka Halwa


BM # 72
Week 3, Day 1
Theme: Festival Recipes

It is always interesting to cook specially for festivals. Actually we hardly celebrate any festivals but since I picked the Theme Festival Recipes for this week I decided to cook a whole platter for the Punjabi festival of Lohri. I shall talk more on that next month when I shall be posting this Thali , for the coming three days it's just going to be some Lohri recipes.

For the first day it is Gud Ka Halwa. This is a recipe by Marut Sikka a Punjabi celebrity chef. The Halwa is made of semolina but here the semolina is soaked first. I liked the recipe and found it quite interesting. I ran out of my brown organic gud so I used white gud, which is very popular here in Gujarat. My Halwa turned out white but it had that special taste of gud.

Preparations made with Gud are significant on Lohri , the harvesting festival. More on that later, as of now you enjoy the halwa.



Gud ka Halwa

Ingredients
1/2 Tbsp ghee
1/2 cup semolina
25 gms jaggery soaked in 1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp Cardamon powder
2 tbsp brown sugar( I used boora khand, which is light colored powdered sugar )
Nuts
Pinch saffron

Method
Soak the semolina in water for 20 minutes.
Soak the jaggery in water and keep aside.
Heat ghee and add the drained sooji.
Roast the sooji very well, and keep stirring it. This soaked sooji has the tendency to stick.
( I used a non stick pan )
After the sooji has roasted well add the jaggery water and stir continuously, till all water has been absorbed.
Add the brown sugar and nuts and give it a good stir.
The halwa is ready.







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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Custard with Gulab Jamun



BM # 72
Week 1, Day 3
Theme; Milk based Desserts

For the last day under Milk based Desserts I have a simple custard. This is a nostalgic recipe. My BM buddies who attended the BM 50 meet would remember this sweet that was served by Kamallika. I had loved the dessert and decided to replicate it.

I make custard very often and prefer to make some change in it. Fortunately I had gulab jamun in the frig. Kamallika had used peanut brittle but I had a some Sindhi Vado which is just like a dry fruit brittle. It gives a nice crunch to the dessert, but make sure you sprinkle it just before serving it.



Custard with Gulab Jamun

Ingredients
Custard
Gulab Jamun
Praline
Nuts

Custard
Ingrdients
500 ml milk
3 tbsp custard powder
Sugar to taste
1/4 tsp cardamon powder

Method
Dissolve custard powder in 3 tbsp cold milk.
Boil the rest of the milk.
Add sugar and cardamon powder.
Gradually add dissolved custard to the boiling milk.
Stir continuously, you shall see the custard becoming thick.
Remove from fire and pour in individual bowls.
Chill the custard.
Just before serving add hot gulab jamuns and sprinkle praline.





The combination of chilled custard and hot gulab jamuns is amazing, the crunchy praline takes it to another level.




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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

China Grass


BM # 72
Week 1, Day 2
Theme; Milk based Desserts

For the second day under Milk based Desserts, I have a dessert which is always in my frig. I make 5 bowls of these as my hubby wants it every day. Now why 5 bowls and why not 7 ? Well at times I serve him ice cream or some other dessert.

Agar agar is a natural sea weed and is supposed to be really healthy. It is very popular in Asian countries and is used in different kinds of desserts. It is a wonderful substitute for gelatine. I have made pannacottas with this agar agar ,salads too but my hubby likes it in this simple form. I would love to make more bowls but unfortunately no one in the house wants to eat it..now aren't you wondering why ? Well hubby does not want any sugar or sugar substitute in the dessert. Secondly since this is always in the frig everyone finds it boring. The day I feel like eating I add sugar to my bowl or make a caramel pudding from it. It is delicious and healthy if made with the given recipe , please add sugar ;)


China Grass

Ingredients
500 ml milk
4 gms agar agar strands
Sugar to taste
1/4 tsp Cardamon powder
Nuts and rose petals for garnish

Method
Put the milk to boil.
Wash the agar agar strands and put them in. The milk.
Let the milk boil till agar agar dissolves.
Add Cardamon powder and sugar.
Pour individual bowls.
Garnish with nuts and rose petals.





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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Dhan ki Kheer from Sikkim



BM # 72
Week 1, Day 1
Theme; Milk based Desserts

We begin with week 2 and this week I have chosen to cook Milk based Desserts. For the very first day I have a Kheer. I am very fond of Kheers and love to try different varieties of it. The traditional Kheer is a rice pudding, but broken wheat, vermecilli , sago also can be used to prepare these kheers. Thinking on different levels, fruits or Indian sweets too could be incorporated in these kheers. Nuts , raisins, cardamons are an important part of these.

Today I have made Dhan Ki Kheer. This Kheer is from Sikkim.while we were there on our holiday, the hotel chef gave me some unique recipes. After getting back I made a complete spread and this Kheer is a part of that spread.

Dhan is the local rice of this state. This rice is short grained and slightly plump. ( somehow I missed out on clicking the pic ). The rice is boiled in the milk and then cooked. At the time of boiling cardamon should be added to enhance the flavor. Sugar is added as per taste and towards the end. Nuts and raisins are optional.

Dhan ki Kheer

Ingredients
500 ml milk
2 tbsp Dhan
Sugar to taste
1/4tsp cardamon powder
Nuts and raisins

Method
Place milk to boil.
Wash the Dhan just a few times to remove the impurities.
Add to the milk and let cook.
Cook till the rice is done.
Add cardamon powder and sugar.
This rice might get a little tough to cook, in that case just add more milk and adjust the consistency.
Serve garnished with nuts.
The Kheer can be served hot or cold.

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Thursday, January 5, 2017

Roasted Bell Pepper Spread


BM # 72
Week 1, Day 1
Theme : Dips, Chutneys and Spreads

Yesterday I posted Black Bean Hummus , today it is Roasted Bell Pepper Spread. With multiple posts we are not able to post all recipes at the same time , so some end up as drafts. This is a spread which is from Middle East. The spread is extremely flavorful and you could use it as spreads or even as dips with some crunchy bites.

I made this as a spread for Bread sticks for the Mega Marathon where I made just sandwiches throughout the month.
Here goes the recipe

Roasted Bell Pepper Spread

Ingredients
2 red bell peppers
1 medium onion, chopped roughly
2 cloves garlic
1 dried red chilly, soaked for a couple of hours
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp vinegar
Salt to taste

Method
Roast the bell peppers in a oven or on gas.
When charred remove from fire .
Remove the charred skin and wipe gently with a kitchen towel
Heat oil, add onions and garlic, toss till onions are transparent.
Remove from fire.
Let cool.
Now put the onions, garlic, peppers,red chilly, salt and vinegar in a blender and make a smooth paste.
Sprinkle some sesame seeds.
Serve as a spread or a dip.





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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Black Bean Hummus



BM # 71
Week 1, Day 2
Theme : Dips, Chutneys and Spreads

With the Mega marathon we tend to learn many new dishes and while I took Sandwiches as my sub theme for Cooking Carnival I made this Black Bean Hummus as a spread for my bread sticks. The hummus tastes excellent and is a wonderful substitute to the original chickpea hummus.

The bean hummus is my Day 2 post under Dips, Chutneys and Spreads as my theme for the first week.

Black Bean Hummus

Ingredients
1 cup black beans , cooked or tinned 
4-6 cloves garlic 
2 tbsp olive oil 
2 tbsp vinegar 
1 tsp cumin seeds 
2 tbsp tahini 
Sea salt to taste 

Method
Blend all ingredients to a smooth paste. 
Remove in a bowl. 
Sprinkle red chilly powder. 
Drizzle olive oil lavishly.







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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Lemon Sauce


BM # 71
Week 1, Day 1
Theme : Dips, Chutneys and Spreads

Wishing all my friends a very Happy New Year. Time surely flies and with a blink of eye,2016 passed and 2017 has begun. December is always a very hectic month for me with my girls and family coming in. One reason for me not participating in Bake a thon, which requires posting every alternative day. I always have had a rich draft section so the January posts are easier to handle. This Lemon Sauce has been in my drafts since more than a year now and it is so so delicious that I could not skip documenting it.I make it often with my bakes.

I had served the sauce with Lemon Spice Cake which I made for Fire up your Oven
This was a Mega Marathon where we baked throughout the month. 




Lemon Sauce
Ingredients
11/2 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
5 tsp corn starch
Zest of 1 large lemon
3 tbsp lemon juice
Few drops yellow food color
1/2 tsp butter

Method
Put 1 cup water and sugar to boil.
Mix the rest of the 1/2 cup of water with corn starch, food color .
Once the sugar has melted, gradually add the cornstarch water.
Stir constantly.
Cook till the mixture is thick and clear.
Remove from fire and add lemon juice, zest and butter.
Serve the sauce warm over cakes or pancakes.





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Sunday, January 1, 2017

Best of 2016

When I stared blogging I did not know that I shall continue blogging for so long. I'm surprised , but I know my motivation comes from my blogging group at Blogging Marathon, a group formed by Srivalli. But for this group I would have gone back to my shell long back. This is a group which is a family and we share practically everything. 

2017 has started and its time to look back to see what 2016 gave us , but before we go back let me wish you all a very Happy New Year.

2016 ! I am surprised I have not taken any break . I have blogged throughout the year. not missing even a month in between.Kudos !!

Like every year we have two mega marathons where we post throughout the month. The April marathon was a very special one for me as I picked the region Sindh and I challenged myself to post A to Z Sindhi Sweet Recipes. It sure was a task as there are some alphabets that are really challenging. The Sindhis do not have their own state  yet they are very happy and prosperous. Their cuisine is special and I have gone deep to find the Sindhi customs and traditions and posted all sweets for the month.


The September marathon , well this was where I chose to cook a variety of Sandwiches throughout the month. I have always been fond of breads and while making these sandwiches , I made sure to use different varieties of bread. I wish I had challenged myself to bake the bread too, but ...you all know that I get nervous with bread baking.


Talking of baking we have an up coming Mega Marathon in April which will be all about baking...now you got to wait and watch that one.

In between I have been doing some regional cooking too, I have done a couple of regional spreads and waiting to post some more. Cooking Thali's from different states and understanding their cuisine has always been a passion for me. It is hard to cook an elaborate meal but I am definitely passionate about these Thali's.

This year I challenged myself to cook a variety of Kheers and fortunately I have been able to make 12 kheers in a month, I will be creating a special page for easy access. As of now you shall find all links here.

The year 2016 ended with a lot of hustle and bustle as all my grand kids and family were here, with the beginning of New Year , we are left with a hangover of sweet and pleasant memories.Memories which bring smiles to our faces, and with those smiles I wish my viewers a very Happy New Year.








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