Monday, November 16, 2020

Hesaru hittina unde- Moong dal LAddu


To me, the Hesaru hittina unde Aka the moong dal laddus are synonymous with the festival of lights. These laddus are rich, delicious and melt in the mouth. These sweet meats taste almost like besan ke laddus but still, you can find some subtle differences in taste and texture.


During my growing years, the moong-dal laddus were made on an industrial scale. I have vivid memories of my paternal grandmother roasting the lentils on low heat and checking if the color had changed to that of the "kempu sampige" (magnolia champaca).  The family cook turning the roasted lentils to a fine flour on the stone grinder. And last but not the least, my mother pouring hot clarified butter to the ground lentil and sugar mixture and shaping them into balls. These laddus were a favorite as a kid and I would gleefully gobble them up. Memories do a have to transport you back in time.


The recipe that you are about to see comes straight from my paternal grandmother's kitchen. This is not one of those easy and quick fix recipes. For it does require some amout of patience and expertise. The key to great tasting moong-dal laddus lies in slow roasting the lentils. Under roasting the lentils will yield raw tasing and flavorless laddus. Where as, over roasting will make the laddus taste bitter. Patience is the key to get these laddus right so do not be tempted to increase the heat speed up the cooking process. Also do not skimp on the quantity of sugar and ghee. These laddus are truly a labour of love and patience. As they say "all good things take time"

Unlike the besan laddus, the moong dal laddus are not available in sweet shops. These laddus are something that has to be made from the scratch. Although, there are some brands that do sell the moong-dal flour, I doubt if they would be as aromatic as the flour that is made at home.

The bright side about the whole process is that, these laddus have a long shelf life. So they are just perfect to pass on as edible gifts during the festive season or they make a great accompaniment to you evening tea or coffee. 

Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think!! Happy Diwali!!

Moong dal laddu Recipe:

Preparation time: 40min

Cooking time: 30

Makes- approximately 30-35 laddus

Ingredients :

Moong dal- 500gms

Powdered sugar- 500gms

Cardamom powder- 1/2tspn

Ghee- 250-300ml+2tbspn

Cashewnuts- 1/4cup, broken

Golden raisins- 3tbspn

Method:

To make the Moong dal flour:

  • Dry roast the moong dal in a thick bottomed pan on low heat till it turns slightly brown in color and nice aroma is emanated.
  • Allow the roasted moong to cool completely and then grind the moong dal to a fine powder in a blender jar.
  • Sift the flour in  a sieve and blend again to get a smooth flour. Store the flour in an airtight container till further use.
To proceed:
  • Assemble the 500gms of the ground Moong dal flour with the powdered sugar and cardamom powder in a large bowl and keep aside.
  • Heat 2tbspns of ghee in a pan and add the cashew nuts and fry till they turn brown. Stir in the raisins and fry till they puff up take off the heat and add to the moong-dal and sugar mixture.
  • Add the 250ml ghee to the same pan and warm the ghee till it is melted and hot enough to handle with bare hands.
  • Add the warm ghee 1-2tbspns at a time to the moong-dal mixture and shape them into balls and store them in airtight container.
  • The laddus have a shelf life of 15-20 days only if they stay that long.
Notes:
  • 500 grams of moong dal will yield approximately 700gms of flour. I have used 500 gas of flour for this recipe.
  • The cardamom powder can be replaced with nutmeg powder.
  • You can use equal quantity of Bura sugar or Tagar to instead of ordinary sugar to get a crunchy texture.
  • When shaping the laddus, gradually add 1 table spoon of ghee at a time. Adding more ghee will result in soft halwa like laddus. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Kargadubu- A ganesh Chathurthi Special

 


Wish you all a very happy Ganesh Chathurti!!

Today I bring to you a dish that is absolutely quintessential for Ganesh chathurti. Karida kadubu or Kargadubu is a mandatory dish that is made as an offering for Lord Ganesha.


The Kargadubu is nothing but a pastry like dough that is stuffed with Sugar and dry coconut mixture. This dish involves some very basic ingredients. But the taste is just heavenly. These kadubus are most definitely food of the Gods.



This recipe is one of those hand me downs from my Grandmother and this recipe never fails me. Each time my kaddunus turn out just perfect. These kadubus have a very light pastry like, melt in your mouth consistency. Give this recipe a try and I am sure you will not have kadubus any other way




Kargadubu recipe: 
Preparation time: 20min+Soaking time
Cooking time: 1hour
Makes- Approximately 30 Kadubus

Ingredients:
For the outer covering:
All purpose flour or Maida- 3cups or 750ml
Fine semolina or Rawa- 3tbsp, roasted
Salt- 1/4tsp
Ghee - 3tbsp, melted
For the filling:
Dry coconut- 1- 1/2 cup
Sugar- 1cup
Poppy seeds- 2tbsp, lightly roasted
Freshly powdered cardamom powder- 1/2tsp
Other ingredients:
Milk- 2tsp
Oil to deep fry

Method:

For the outer covering:

  • In a large mixing bowl, mix the All purpose flour, roasted semolina and salt and mix.
  • Add the hot, melted ghee and mix. Add water gradually and mix well to form a stiff dough and keep aside.
For the stuffing mixture:
  • Dry roast the poppy seeds and blend into a fine powder and keep aside.
  • Mix the grated dry coconut, sugar and cardamom powder and pulse in  a blender till well combined.
  • Add the ground poppy seed to the sugar-coconut mixture and mix well.
To proceed:
  • Divide the dough mixture into thirty equal portions and keep aside.
  • Take one portion of the dough and roll it into a circle of 3" in diameter.
  • Place a table spoon of the stuffing mixture in the middle and brush the edges with raw milk.
  • Carefully fold the circle to form a semi circle and Seal the edges in such  a way that the filling secured when frying. A gujiya mould can be used for this purpose.
  • Repeat the process with the rest of the dough balls and the stuffing mixture.
  • Heat oil in a wok and deep fry the kadubus three to four numbers at a time till golden brown in color
  • Drain on paper towels and ENJOY!!!

Monday, June 8, 2020

Hakka Noodles


I had posted the recipe for hakka noodles way back in 2012. But this recipe for hakka noodles is better than the earlier one. Over the time, I made some changes by excluding and changing a few ingredients.  Because of these changes, the flavors are more authentic and restaurant like. Since going to a restaurant is almost impossible now, it is always a good thing to have a recipe that tastes just like the one in a restaurant.




The hakka noodles does not come under the category of "authentic Chinese". In fact, the hakka noodles was actually created by the hakka immigrants in kolkata. So this dish is mostly "authentic Indo Chinese".


This is a very quick recipe and doesn't involve too many dance ingredients either. This dish can be made within minutes by stir frying the everything in one wok on a high flame. This ensures the vegetables are cooked through but still retain their vibrant colour and crunch. The sauces used in this recipe are also minimal. Just the basic soya sauce and the chili vinegar. So that the noodles get that beautiful light hue but still the vegetables retain their color.


According to my in house connoisseur  of good food (aka my husband)  in a perfect noodle dish, one must be able to taste every individual ingredient without any other flavor overpowering it. Well, this noodle dish does have that trait. Even if I may say so myself.


The hakka noodles can be enjoyed on its own as a snack. Or, it can be paired with a manchurian dish and can be had as a complete meal. I just love pairing this with chili paneer or vegetable manchurian as it tastes absolute fantastic with some contrasting flavors!!

Hakka Noodles recipe:
Preparation time: 20mins
Cooking time: 15mins
Serves- 4

Ingredients:

Noodles: 200gms* (see notes)
Groundnut oil or sesame oil- 2tbps
Butter- 1tbsn
Garlic- 6 cloves, peeled and chopped fine
Onion- 1 medium, cut into strips
Carrot: 1 large, peeled and cut into strips
French beans- 8-10, cut into strips
colored Bell pepper- 1/3 cup, cut into strips
Cabbage- 1/4 shredded
Salt to taste
Black pepper powder- 1tspn
Dark Soya sauce- 1-1/2 tbsp
Chili vinegar- 1 tsp
Spring onion- 2tbsn


Method:

  • Heat oil in a thick bottomed wok and stir in the butter. Add the chopped garlic and fry for a few seconds.
  • Add the onion and till they are soft. Stir in the carrot, beans, bell peppers and cabbage and fry fry on high heat for a 2-3mins.
  • Add salt and black pepper powder and fry for a couple of mins more. 
  • Stir in the soya sauce, chili vinegar and the prepared noodles and mix thoroughly.
  • Garnish with spring onions and serve immediately.
Notes:
  • Using sesame oil or peanut oil gives a nice nutty flavor to the noodles. Hence, I would highly recommend you use the same.
  • I have used bali kitchen brand of noodles here. I found these noodles to be perfect. They do not clump or they are not very starchy.


Monday, May 25, 2020

Pineapple Rava Kesari or Pineaplle Sajjige


The sajjige or the rava kesar has to be one the most loved sweets in my household. It is a dessert that uses the simplest of ingredients, gets done in no time and with minimal effort. Despite all the minimal effort and the minimal ingredients, There is absolutely no compromise on the taste. It tastes  just heavenly!! Maybe that is the reason, the semolina pudding is also known as "sapatha Bhaksa" and it a must for the Sathyanarayana Pooja.



 The Rava Kesari is a very forgiving dish and is perfect for for beginner cooks. This sweet dish is also very versatile. Versatile as in, it can be flavored in so many different ways. You can flavor this pudding with simple spices like cloves, saffron and cardamom or fruits like banana, cantaloupe, jackfruit. The sajjige can taste as simple to as exotic depending on the ingredients that is used. Isn't that wonderful??

Give this recipe a try and let me know about the outcome!!





Pineapple Sajjige Recipe:
Preparation time: 20mins
Cooking time: 15mins
Serves- 4-6

Ingredeints:

Ghee- 6tbspns+1tbspn
Cloves- 4-5
Broken Cashewnuts-2tbspn
Raisins- 1tbspn
Fine semolina or chiroti rava- 1 cup or 200ml
Chopped pineapple- 1 cup
Milk- 1 cup or 200ml
Water- 2cups
Saffron- a pinch
Sugar- 2 cups
Cardamom powder- 1/2tspn



Method:

  • Heat a table spoon of ghee in a thick bottomed pan and add the cloves and the chopped cashews and fry till they are slightly golden brown in color. 
  • Add the raisins and fry till they bubble up and take off the heat. 
  • Add the semolina to the same pan and fry till it turns golden brown and take off the heat.
  • Carefully add water to the same pan and stir in they pineapple and allow the pineapple to cook for a few minutes.
  • Stir in the milk, saffron and the remaining ghee to the pineapple mixture and bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Lower the flame and Add the semolina and the sugar, mix well and cook covered on low heat for five to seven mins to till you notice the mixture leaving the sides of the pan.
  • Add the cardamom powder and fried cashew raisin mixture and serve immediately. 


Thursday, January 23, 2020

Kadalekayi Bija Holige- Peanut holige

I had actually planned this post for the occasion of Sankranti. But then, I got so caught up with all the ellu-bella distribution,  and my daughter's assessments that this post had to be postponed. However, it is always better late than never. Isn't it?


Sankranthi in my house is always a grand affair. I leave no stone unturned to make it as festive as possible. From the preparation of ellu-bella to the sakkare acchu, everything is usually made from scratch. The festive menu is always elaborate. The Shankranti menu always includes the quintessential sweet pongal, Kosambari (salad), puliyogare, A sambar or a kootu, Rasam and Curd. This time however, I decided to include holige as well.


The holige or obattu is traditional dessert that is a part of all Indian festivities. Be it a wedding or any other auspicious occasion you are bound to find holige on the menu. In our house, we are partial to the bele (lentil) holige and the Kayi (coconut) holige. As a matter of fact, we had never heard or tasted the Peanut holige.


It was my house help, who is from Gulbarga, suggested that I make the shenga holige for Shankranti. The Kadalekayi beeja (peanut) holige is a rustic flat bread from the North Karnataka region. And this is traditionally prepared during the Shankranti/ Pongal festival.


So credit for this recipe and the preparation goes entirely to her. I followed her instructions almost to the T. The only change in the recipe was the addition of poppy seeds. The poppy seeds, not only made the flat bread aromatic but also took the flavor quotient to a whole new level.


This flat bread is a winter delicacy and it tastes absolutely delectable when eaten with a dollop of ghee. So please don't count your calories when eating this. Enjoy these healthy and nutrition packed sweet treats when we are still progressing from shishir ritu (winter) to the vasant Ritu (spring) and when the nip is still in the air!!! 

P.S. you can find The video for this recipe on my instagram highlights.


Kadalekayi Bija Holige Recipe:
Preparation time: 25min+standing time.
Cooking time:30min
Makes- 15-20 holiges

Ingredients:

For the Kanaka or the Outer covering:

All purpose flour- 300gm
Whole wheat flour- 200gm
Salt- A large pinch
Oil- 2tbsp+1tbspn
Water as required

For the hurana or the stuffing:

Peanuts- 600gm
White sesame seeds- 1-1/2 tbsp
Poppy seeds- 1-1/2 tbsp
Jaggery- 440gm
Cardamom Powder- 1/2tspn
Hot water a few table spoons

Other ingredients:
Flour to roll the holige
Oil or ghee to shallow fry
Ghee to serve.


Method:

For the outer covering:
  • Combine the All purpose flour and the whole wheat flour in a  large bowl, add salt and 2tbspn of oil and mix well.
  • Add water gradually and mix till a soft and pliable dough is formed. Smear the other table spoon of oil and mix gently and allow the dough to rest for atleast 30min or until further use.
For the filling:
  • Dry roast the peanuts for on medium heat, sautéing continuously. Keep frying the peanuts begin to crackle and you can see dark spots on them. Take off the heat and set aside to cool.
  • In the same pan, add the sesame seeds and fry till they turn slightly brown and take off the heat.
  • Fry the poppy seeds in the same pan till they crackle and set aside.
  • Mix the Peanuts, Sesame and poppy seeds and grind them into a coarse powder.
  • Add the jaggery and cardamom powder to the ground mixture and grind to a fine powder.
  • Transfer the ground mixture to a large bowl and add gradually add a table spoon of hot water at a time and mix to form a thick dough.
To Proceed:
  • Divide the dough into 16-18 portions and keep aside.
  • Divide the Peanut mixture into 16-18 portions and keep aside.
  • Slightly grease your hands with oil. Take a small portion of the dough and gently spread the dough with your fingers to make a circle of 2" to 3" diameter. Place a portion of the peanut mixture in the center, and gather the edges of the dough over the filling.
  • Flatten the dough slightly and using all purpose flour to dust, roll again into 7 to 8" circle.
  • Shallow fry the holige on a hot girdle till it turns brown in color on both sides. Brush a teaspoon of ghee on both sides.
  • Repeat the process with the remaining dough and stuffing mixture.
  • Smear a teaspoon of ghee on each holige and serve hot.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Methiwale Kabuli Chhole

A garbanzo bean and fenugreek curry that is a perfect accompaniment for rice or rotis

The combo of Fenugreek and chick pea??? I am not so sure. That was my reaction when I first read the recipe on Hemant Trivedi's blog. To me chick pea or the Garbanzo beans were always synonymous with Chhole or Sundal and yes hummus!! So I never thought that the nutty chick peas would pair well the bitter fenugreek leaves. But then, I was wrong. Terribly wrong. For this curry has everything if not more to tingle your tastebuds. 

Ingredient shot of Fenugreek leaves and garbanzo beans


A garbanzo bean and fenugreek curry that is a perfect accompaniment for rice or rotis


The methiwale Kabuli Chhole is actually a Rajasthani recipe. This was originally a recipe sans onion and Garlic. But then, I really like the kick of garlic and onion in my curries. Hence, I decided to incorporate them in this dish. Feel free to omit them if you don't link Garlic.

A garbanzo bean and fenugreek curry that is a perfect accompaniment for rice or rotis


This is an extremely easy but vibrant dish which is sure to leave you asking for more. The combination of the bitter fenugreek leaves and the nutty chick peas is a match made in the culinary heaven. Further more, the addition of cashew paste, apart from enhancing the flavors, also lends velvety texture to the gravy. This dish can be paired with either rotis, puris or rice. The aromatic flavors, the luscious textures and the exotic spice blend will make you want to lick your fingers clean. Please do not let the long list of ingredients intimidate you as this curry is quite is easy to put together.

A garbanzo bean and fenugreek curry that is a perfect accompaniment for rice or rotis


Methiwale Kabuli Chhole recipe:
Preparation time: 20min+soaking time
Cooking time: 20min
Serves- 4

Ingredients:
Kabuli chana or Garbanzo Beans- 1 cup, heaped (soaked overnight)
Bay leaf- 1
Oil- 2tbspn
Onion- 1 medium, finely chopped
Ginger-Garlic paste- 1tspn
Fresh fenugreek leaves- 3/4th cup, finely chopped
Tomato- 1 medium, finely chopped
Tamarind pulp- 1tspn 
Salt- to taste
Sugar- 1/2tspn
Turmeric- 1/4tspn
Red chili powder- 1/2tspn
Coriander powder- 1/2tspn
Jeera powder- 1/2tspn
Kasuri methi- 1/2tspn
Cashew nut paste- 2tbspn
Garam Masala- 1/4tspn
Ghee or clarified butter- 1tbspn
Cinnamon- 1" piece, powdered
Cloves- 3, powdered
Green chili- 1, slit
Coriander leaves- 2tbspn, chopped

A garbanzo bean and fenugreek curry that is a perfect accompaniment for rice or rotis


Method:




  • Pressure cook the soaked chana with half a tea spoon of salt and the bay leaf for six to seven whistles or completely cooked and keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add the chopped onion and fry till tender.
  • Add the ginger-garlic paste and fry till the raw smell goes.
  • Add the chopped fenugreek leaves and fry till the moisture evaporates from the leaves
  • Stir in the chopped tomato and and fry for a min. Add the tamarind pulp and fry for a couple of minutes more.
  • Add the turmeric powder, salt, sugar, red chili powder, coriander-cumin seed powder, Kasuri methi and mix well.
  • Add the cooked chick peas and allow the mixture to simmer for 3-4mins
  • Add the cashew paste and garam masala and allow it to simmer for a couple of minutes more.
  • Heat ghee in a separate pan and add the powdered cinnamon and cloves and fry for a few seconds.
  • Stir in the slit green chili and chopped coriander leaves and fry for a few seconds more.
  • Add the seasoning to the chick pea mixture and simmer for a minute before taking off the heat.
  • Serve hot with rice or rotis.





Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Beet and Apple Halwa

An Indian dessert that is rich, healthy and decadent

Finally!! I am back to doing what I love doing most. Boy!! Did I miss this this virtual kitchen of mine or what?? It is not an exageration when I say that I am experiencing an adernaline rush as I am updating this space.

An Indian dessert that is rich, healthy and decadent

An Indian dessert that is rich, healthy and decadent

The past few months have been extremely busy, unpredictable and full of surprises. In these past few months, we experienced a family wedding, we brought home a pup (who is now a grown dog) and we changed houses. All of these happened in such quick succession, that I did not have the time to register any of these. 

An Indian dessert that is rich, healthy and decadent

Even though, It has been four months since we changed houses, I cannot say that I have settled completely. I am still settling and I am still in the process of decorating the house. After all this time, I can say that my home is slowly coming into shape. So now you know what kept me away from my blog for such a long time.

An Indian dessert that is rich, healthy and decadent

Now that I am back in action, I want to start my blog on a sweet note. Therefore, I want to treat you all with this rich and indulgent beetroot and apple halwa.

An Indian dessert that is rich, healthy and decadent

Halwa is nothing but a sweet confection that is made with fruits, vegetables, lentils, flours, or grains. There is never a hard and fast rule to make a halwa. It can be made in a hundred differnet ways and still taste delicious each time.

An Indian dessert that is rich, healthy and decadent

I had tasted the Apple and beetroot halwa at a friend's place many moons ago and I had instantly fallen with it. I had been meaning to post it since then but never got around making it. I finally made it a few weeks back and it was an instant hit with both S and Purvi.

An Indian dessert that is rich, healthy and decadent

Since Beets and Apples, which are the key ingredients of the dessert are both sweet, this confection does not require a lot of sugar. So this dessert great for the calorie concsious as well.

As I mentioned before, this halwa can be made in a number of ways. This recipe is more of a template. So feel free to tweak and adjust the recipe to suit your tastes and preferences. So go ahead and make your own and see how it turns out. So let's get to the recipe shall we??

An Indian dessert that is rich, healthy and decadent

Beet and Apple Halwa recipe:
Preparation time:30min
Cooking time: 75min
Serves- 6

Ingredients:
Ghee or clarified butter- 6tbspns+1tbspn
Cashewnuts- 3tbspn
Raisins- 2tbspn
Beetroot-3numbers or 525gms, peeled and grated
Apples-2medium or 325gms, grated
Salt- a pinch
whole milk-500ml
Almond meal- 1tbspn (optional)
Sugar-9tbspn or to taste
Milk powder or unsweetened khova-20gms
Cardamom powder- 1/2tspn
Pistachios to garnish- 1tbsp (optional)

Method:
  • Heat a table spoon of ghee in a thick bottomed pan and add the cashew nuts and fry till pale brown. Add the raisins and fry till they swell up.
  • Remove the fried cashews and raisins from the pan and set aside. Add the grated beetroot and apple to the same pan. Add salt and fry for a 5-10min or till the moisture is absorbed.
  • Add the whole milk and cook covered on low heat. Keep stirring the mixture from time to time.  Cook the mixture for 20-25min or till the moisture is evaporated and the mixture is almost dry.
  • Add the Sugar and almond meal and mix till the sugar is dissolved.
  • Stir in the remaining ghee and cook the mixture on medium heat for another 15-20min. At this point the ghee will separate from the beetroot mixture and will turn dark pink and glisten.
  • Add the milk powder and cardamom powder, fried cashew and raisins, mix well and take off the heat.
  • Garnish with pistachios and serve warm.
  • Heat a table spoon of ghee in a thick bottomed pan and add the cashew nuts and fry till pale brown. Add the raisins and fry till they sell up.
  • Remove the fried cashews and raisins from the pan and set aside. Add the grated beetroot and apple to the same pan. Add salt and fry for a 5-10min or till the moisture is absorbed.
  • Add the whole milk and cook covered on low heat. Keep stirring the mixture from time to time.  Cook the mixture for 20-25min or till the moisture is evaporated and the mixture is almost dry.
  • Add the Sugar and almond meal and mix till the sugar is dissolved.
  • Stir in the remaining ghee and cook the mixture on medium heat for another 15-20min. At this point the ghee will separate from the beetroot mixture and will turn dark pink and glisten.
  • Add the milk powder and cardamom powder, fried cashew and raisins, mix well and take off the heat.
  • Garnish with pistachios and serve warm.
x



Beet and Apple Halwa recipe:
Preparation time:30min
Cooking time: 75min
Serves- 6

Ingredients:
Ghee or clarified butter- 6tbspns+1tbspn
Cashewnuts- 3tbspn
Raisins- 2tbspn
Beetroot- 3numbers or 525gms, peeled and grated
Apples- 2medium or 325gms, grated
Salt- a pinch
whole milk-500ml
Almond meal- 1tbspn (optional)
Sugar- 9tbspn or to taste
Milk powder- 20gms
Cardamom powder- 1/2tspn
Pistachios to garnish- 1tbsp (optional)

Method:




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