Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Nankhatai




Here's what you will need:

1 cup All  purpose flour(Maida)

1/2 cup sugar (powdered if you are using Indian sugar)

1/2 tsp cardamom powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup Clarified butter or ghee (melted  and at room temperature)

The cooking process

Seive the flour and baking soda is a mixing bowl. Add in sugar and cardamom powder.Now add in ghee -a spoonful at a time, mixing all the ingredients simultaneously,till you are able to get all the ingredients together to form a ball.Don't drop in all the ghee at once.

Cover the ball with a cling wrap place it in a airtight container and let it rest for atleast 5 hours.It would be great if you could manage to keep it overnight.




Preheat the oven at 375 deg F.
Grease a baking sheet and pinch of small balls from the dough ball.Flatten them lightly between your palms.
Place them on baking sheet 3 cm apart.
Bake them for 15-18 mins until you see  light brown goodies with a few scars.
Remove the sheet from the oven.Once cooled store in an airtight container.

Note:You may decorated these cookies with silvered almond /cashews or pistachios.

For more healthier version of Nankhatai,check my Atta nankhatai

Friday, October 23, 2009

Diwali celebration


Hope everyone had a great Diwali celebration.Here are few photos showing how my family celebrated the festival of lights.
As in any Maharashtrian home we woke up early.Relaxed our body with uthana (fragrant paste of chandan) and a warm bath with Mysore sandal soap.In our new attire we performed pooja and offer neivedhyam to the deity.Neivedhyam for Diwali basically includes different types of pohe and faral (the snacks that is made for Diwali).We enjoyed the snacks and spend our evening by worshipping a temple (where we enjoyed fireworks) and meeting up a few friends.


                    Neivedhyam -dudh(milk) pohe,gul (jaggery)pohe and batata (potato) pohe along with faral.


                      Faral clockwise(chivda,spicy shankarpali,nankhatai,besan ladoo,rava ladoo,kachori and karanji)

                                                  


Rangoli for laxmi pujan




Rangoli for Padwa



Saturday, October 17, 2009

Wish you and your family a very Happy Diwali







Thursday, October 15, 2009

Aloo Broccoli



Until I came to US, I had never tasted Broccoli. I use to call it green cauliflower whenever I saw it at the vegetable vendor (he he....). But in US I found it in many chinese and thai dishes.It surely has looks similar to cauliflower but tastewise its very very different and it can't be used as a substitute for cauliflower.

My husband during his bachelorhood along with his friend had once cooked a curry using broccoli and he says the house began to smell like hell (I don't know why).Not to tell but the curry was a disaster. Hence in our 3 years of marriage our refrigerator never saw (or smelled???) broccoli.

Finally, after a long wait I somehow convinced him to try broccoli.

"Lets try at least once.I have seen so many bloggers cooking it. I doubt it’s that bad."

Poor fellow. As he says mein bibi ka sab sunta hu.

"You can cook in my absence and both of you (me n my son) can have it. Please don't force me to have it. I will not eat it at all."

"Ok ok"

Hence broccoli arrived at our place a month back.

I cooked aloo broccoli as an extra sabzi in addition to the rajma masala.I thought if it does turn out good I can at least have rajma masala as an alternative.

While I cooked my apartment smelled great and the outcome was awesome. I called my DH and told him. He had it that night and now broccoli is always in my grocery shopping list.





Here's what you need

1 cup broccoli florets

1 cup potatoes cubed

3 tbsp coconut oil

1 tbsp chilli flakes

1/2 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp turmeric

1tsp black pepper powder

1 1/2 tbsp peanut powder(dry roasted peanuts powdered)

1/2 tsp sugar

salt

The cooking process

Heat oil in a frying pan. When it’s hot enough add in quick succession chillli flakes, chilli powder, turmeric, and potatoes.On medium heat stir fry till the potatoes turn golden. Lower the heat and cover the pan. When the potatoes are half way cooked add in the broccoli. Stir fry till Flavor it with pepper, salt, sugar and peanut powder. Mix and let it cook for a couple of minutes uncovered.

Serve piping hot with rotis.

Yields: 2 adults

PS: Coconut oil and peanut powder add an unique taste to this dish and hence would strongly recommend it for this recipe.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Delectable delight: Date cake


The most awaited recipe is finally here!

My inlaws had come over for a couple of months and my father inlaw loved the cake so much that he convinced my mother inlaw to have a bite of it.She had never ever in her life tasted a cake and she too went back home with the cake recipe.
I served it for DS birthday to my friends and they were bowled over.They couldn't believe that it was just an eggless date cake.

The recipe is so simple that you hardly need to pick a few things from the pantry.I strongly recommend not replacing the baking soda with baking powder in this recipe,it change the texture of the cake to a large extent.I prefer to bake it a day ahead or at least a 5-6 hours before it is served (I have to hide it though..).You can also use all purpose flour for this recipe but then the baking time would reduce to 35-40 mins.

Here's what you need:

1 cup wheat flour(I used Sujata atta)

1/2 packet of 13 oz baking dates or 18 seedless dates

3/4 cup milk

3/4 cup sugar (I usual add a little less)

1/2 cup oil (canola oil or sunflower preferred)

1 teaspoon baking soda

Handful of raisins and chopped walnuts

The cooking process

Soak the baking dates in 1/2 cup of warm milk for atleast an hour.
Switch on the oven to 350 deg F.
Grind the soaked dates along with sugar,oil and the milk in which it was soaked to a smooth paste.
Sieve the wheat flour along with the baking soda thrice.This really help to make the cake light.I have always follow this as a practice since I baked my first cake.
In a large bowl add the paste,remaining milk and then fold in the flour one table spoon at a time. Add the raisins and nuts and mix only until everything is incorporated well.Don't over mix.Always mix the cake batter in only one direction,this helps to incorporate more air making the cake lighter.You might need to add few tablespoons of water to make a smooth batter.
Pour in a greased cake pan (I used 9*5 inch loaf pan) and bake for 45-50 mins or until the toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center of the cake.Let it cool completely before you unmould. Brew a hot cup of coffee the next morning enjoy the cake and be ready to start a new cake fever.

Note:

If you do not own a oven you could bake this cake (infact any cake) in the pressure cooker.
Pour the cake batter in a greased aluminium or steel vessel.
Remove the gasket seal (also called the ring) and the weight(whistle) of the pressure cooker.In the empty pressure cooker without water,place a steel or aluminium plate and then place the vessel with the cake batter and close the lid.Let it cook initially on medium high flame for 10 mins and then on low flame for 45--50 mins.

Cooking tips
  1. A stale loaf of bread can be considerably freshened by dipping it in milk or water (or a mixture of the two) for about a minute. Then heat in the oven for about fifteen minutes.
  2. A delicious alternative to whipped cream is a mashed banana added to the white of an egg. Beat it stiff to look like whipped cream.
  3. Instead of tamarind, you can use slices of raw mango in meat and fish curries or dal.


Monday, October 5, 2009

The quick and easy :Kaju Katli



Be it a get together or a festival I always had this mithia at home and why not-who doesn't love it?Though I always had it store bought in those days.In the early days of my job,one of my colleague bought these and she said she made it and I was amazed.Not to mention they were yummy and I just believed her because there was no silver leaf(varakh) on it.This story goes nearly 5 years back -I had just done with my degree and I never asked her for the recipe.After I married my DH also loved these sweet diamonds and that was the time I googled for its recipe,tried it out many times and all attempts were successful.I found most of the recipes call for milk powder but I love the flavor of cashews so I prefer not adding it to my katlis.




Here's what you need

A 8"/10" frying pan
1 plate greased with ghee

1 flat plate or any flat surface greased.

1 wooden spatula

A sharp knife / pizza cutter


1 cup whole cashews

Grind it to fine powder.Do not add water or milk.Cashews if refrigerated(at least for a day) grinds well to form powder.

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup sugar


1/2 tsp cardamom (optional)

Few strands of saffron(optional)(I didn't use this)


The Cooking Process


In the frying pan bring the water to a rolling boil.Reduce the heat to medium add the cardamon,saffron,sugar.Mix well with a wooden spatula.


When sugar dissolves add the cashew powder and mix well to avoid lumps.Keep stirring the mixture till it starts leaving the sides of the pan and begins to thicken.At this stage switch off the flame,remove the content in a greased plate and let it cool for 4-5 mins.



When this mixture turn warm enough to be handled,with grease your hand and knead it well till it forms a smooth shinny ball.Roll this ball with a rolling pin on a flat surface.Shape the edges of this rolled circle to form a square so that you don't have any shapeless pieces .



With a pizza cutter/knife form the diamonds.Let them lay there for 5 mins.Separate these diamonds a store them in a airtight container-I prefer a nice big size one and avoid stacking them one above another.Anyways,they are all gone in couple of hours.


You may use silver leaf to decorate being cutting them in diamond shapes.


Use of cardamon and saffron is purely optional.You could also add few drops of rose water or rose essence.



You can make pista barfi with the same proportion using unsalted pistachios and replacing water by milk.


You can make kaju-pista rolls by placing a rolled square of pista barfi (this is the stage just before cutting them to the desired shape)over a rolled square of kaju katli rolling these layers to a tight roll as you do for patra or khandvi.Cut this roll to form 2 inch cylinders and dip the edges of each cylinder in a mixture of kaju+pista powder.