Friday, October 24, 2014

Sandesh / Sondesh

Yields: 12 small pieces

Whole Milk - 8 cups
Lemon Juice - 1/4 cup
Rose Essence - 1/8 teaspoon
Cardamom Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Powdered Sugar - 1/2 cup
Saffron Strands - 12 (optional)
Hot Milk - 1 tablespoon (if using saffron)
Pistachios, slivered - 12 pieces or more

To Aid:

Muslin Cloth (I use a piece of perforated cotton cloth)
A deep pan for collecting whey
Mixing Bowl
Mould of desired shape
Clarified butter/ghee to grease the mould
A tray or a plate

  1. Soak saffron strands in hot milk.
  2. Take whole milk in a deep pan. Heat the milk. Turn of the flame before the milk starts boiling.
  3. Pour lemon juice. Stir gently. The milk will now start curdling. Allow it to stand for 2 minutes. Now stir gently until the clear liquid (whey) separates from the mixture. The whey which will be collected can be used for making vegetable stocks, protein shakes or while kneading the dough for chapati. 
  4. Place the muslin cloth on top of a deep pan. Pour the milk mixture into the muslin cloth. Pour 1-2 cups of water at room temperature into the mixture to remove sourness of lemon.
  5. Carefully bring the sides of the cloth together and hold/hand it above the deep pan. Hold/hang it until whey stops dripping from the cloth. Do not squeeze the mixture in the cloth as it will remove all the moisture too. 
  6. The cottage cheese or paneer is now ready.
  7. Transfer the cottage cheese into a mixing bowl. With your palm, knead it thoroughly to get a smooth and soft mass. It is very important to knead while the cheese is still hot to get a smooth mixture.
  8. Add cardamom powder, rose essence and powdered sugar. Mix thoroughly. The mixture at this point might seem a little sticky. If you feel that it is hard to roll it into a ball, transfer it into a pan and cook it on medium flame, stirring continuously but gently, for 3-4 minutes. Allow it to cool down little bit and knead it thoroughly again.
  9. Depending on the size of the mould you are using, divide the prepared mixture into equal portions that will fit in the mould.
  10. Roll each portion between your palms so make balls. This is will help in getting smoother surface  and neater designs while you use the moulds.
  11. Press each ball into the mould, carefully unmould. Place them on tray/plate.
  12. Once all the balls are pressed in the mould and placed in the plate, decorate them with saffron stands and slivered pistachios.
  13. Serve immediately. This can be refrigerated for 2 days.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Mirchi Ka Salan

Serves : 4-6 people


Peanuts - 3/4 cup
Sesame Seeds - 4 tablespoons
Coriander Seeds - 1 1/2 tablespoons
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tablespoon
Dessicated Coconut - 6 tablespoons
Dry Red Chillies - 5 + 2
Thick Tamarind Extract - 2 tablespoons
Ginger - 1 inch long piece
Garlic Cloves - 4
Onion - 1 large
Cooking Oil - 1/2 cup
Big Green Green Chillies - 12
Nigella Seeds/Kalonji - 1/2 teaspoon
Mustard Seeds - 1 teaspoon
Fenugreek Seeds - 1/4 teaspoon
Curry Leaves - 5
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Red Chilli Powder - 1 tablespoon (adjust according to taste)
Jaggery, powdered - 1 tablespoon
Salt to taste


  1. Dry roast peanuts, sesame seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds and dessicated coconut separately.
  2. Using a teaspoon oil, roast 5 dry red chillies. 
  3. Allow all the roasted ingredients to cool.
  4. Meanwhile, slice onion. Keep aside.
  5. Wash the green chillies with their stem intact. Wipe them dry with a clean cloth.
  6. Carefully slit the chillies for an inch from the pointed end. Keep them aside.
  7. In a blender, take all the roasted ingredients along with roasted dry red chillies, tamarind paste, ginger and garlic cloves. Add a little water and blend into smooth paste. Keep aside.
  8. Heat all the remaining oil in a wok.
  9. Deep fry all the green chillies until they turn whitish in color. Place the fired chillies in a bowl.
  10. To the same wok, with all the oil, add nigella seeds, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, 2 whole dry red chillies and curry leaves.
  11. When the mustard seeds start spluttering, add sliced onions. Saute until they turn slightly brown.
  12. Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, salt and jaggery power. 
  13. Pour 1/2 cup of water. Mix well and let it cook on low flame for 5-10 minutes.
  14. Adjust the consistency of the gravy by adding more water if required, I prefer the gravy to be thick.
  15. Add the deep fried green chillies. Cook on low flame for 5 minutes.
  16. Serve hot with Biryani/Ghee Rice or any Indian breads.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Kesar Peda - Quick & Easy Method

Yields: 23-30 pedas


Saffron - 15 strands
Hot Milk - 2 tablespoons
Clarified Butter/Ghee - 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons for greasing
Condensed Milk - 14 oz( approx. 400gms)
Milk Powder - 2 cups
Nutmeg Powder - 1/8 teaspoon
Cardamom Powder - 1/4 teaspoon

For Garnishing (optional):

Pistachios, slivered or pounded - 3 tablespoons
A few Saffron Strands

To Aid:

A plate greased with little clarified butter/ghee


  1. Soak saffron strands in hot milk for 15 minutes.
  2. Heat clarified butter/ghee in a sauce pan.
  3. Set the flame to low, add condensed milk. Stir well.
  4. Fold in the milk powder. Mix thoroughly until well combined and remove any lumps, if any by mashing the mixture using the spatula. Keep scarping the mixture from the sides of the pan to get a smooth mixture.
  5. Add nutmeg powder, cardamom powder. Mix well.
  6. Pour saffron milk. Mix well. 
  7. Set the flame to medium and keep stirring until the mixture collects together to form a lump.
  8. Immediately transfer the mixture into the greased plate. Allow the mixture to cool down until you can handle it with your palms.
  9. Grease your palm with some ghee and knead the mixture well.
  10. Pinch out small portion of the the mixture and shape it into a ball, press with your one finger to make a small depression or use a mould of desired shape. Keep greasing your palm every time you feel the mixture sticks to your palm so that you get smoother pedas.
  11. Sprinkle with pistachio and saffron strands. The pedas will harden slightly as they cool.
  12. Serve. Once cooled, they can be preserved in an air tight box for 3-4 days.