Pakashastra

Pakashastra

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Moong Dal Halwa

Moong Dal Halwa is usually prepared in winter in north India. The halwa is delicious and needs ingredients that are always available in an Indian kitchen pantry. In spite of the effort and patience it takes, you will prepare this halwa again and again; I bet!


Ingredients:

Moong Dal/Beans, split & de-husked - 1 cup
Saffron - 10 strands
Warm Milk - 2 tablespoons
Ghee - 3/4 cup + 2 teaspoons
Sugar - 1 cup (if you prefer sweeter, add 1/4 cup more)
Whole Milk - 1 1/2 cups
Water - 1/2 cup
Cardamom Powder - 1 teaspoon
Salt - a pinch
Raisins - 12
Cashew nuts, chopped - 2 tablespoons
Almonds, slivered - 2 tablespoon




Method:

  1. Wash moong dal thoroughly and soak in enough water for about 5-6 hours or overnight.
  2. Drain water from soaked dal and pulse it into coarse paste without adding any water.
  3. Soak saffron strands in warm milk.
  4. Take 2 teaspoons ghee in a pan, add raisins and chopped cashew nuts. Saute until the cashew nuts brown slightly. Transfer the nuts into a small bowl.
  5. Now take 3/4 cup ghee in the same pan, add the prepared dal paste and stir fry on medium heat for about 20 minutes until it loses its rawness.
  6. Meanwhile boil milk, add sugar, water and simmer until the sugar melts.
  7. Pour milk, cardamom powder, salt and saffron milk to the fried dal, stir well on medium heat such that there is no lump.
  8. Stir the mixture continuously until all the milk is absorbed and the mixture comes together like a lump.
  9. Add fried raisins, cashew nuts and slivered almonds.
  10. Mix well, transfer into a bowl.
  11. Serve hot or refrigerate in an air-tight container to use within 1-2 weeks.
Note:
  1. Drain out the water completely before pulsing it into a coarse paste.
  2. Ensure the flame is set medium always.
  3. If you want to reheat the halwa, mix little milk to the halwa and then reheat.
  4. This halwa tastes the best when served hot.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Vegetable Stuffed Whole Wheat Buns / Masala Buns

Yields: 16 buns

Do you like stuffed buns or masala buns? If you do, try these wholesome whole wheat buns stuffed with mixed vegetables. These buns are great to have along with your evening coffee or tea or they can be served as light dinner too. Preparation of these buns is not as laborious as it seems.



Ingredients:

For Buns:

Whole Wheat Flour - 4 cups
All-purpose flour - 1 cup
Yeast - 4 teaspoons
Sugar - 3 tablespoons
Butter, melted - 2 tablespoon + brushing
Warm Water - 1 cup
Warm Milk - 1 1/2 cups
Whole Milk, for brushing - 1/4 cup
Sesame Seeds - 3 tablespoons
Salt  - 1 1/2 teaspoons

For Vegetable Mixture:

Onions - 2
Carrots - 3
Potatoes - 3
Beans - 12
Garlic Cloves - 3
Corn - 1/2 cup
Peas - 1/2 cup
Mint Coriander Chili paste - 1 tablespoon
Cooking Oil - 2 teaspoons
Tomato Ketchup - 1 tablespoon
Garam Masala - 2 teaspoons
Red Chili Powder - 1 teaspoon
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Salt to taste



Method:

Preparing Vegetable Mixture (Stuffing):
  1. Chop onion, carrot, potato and beans.
  2. Using little water, boil carrot, potato, beans, peas and corn until they are soft but still hold shape, al dente. Turn off the heat and separate the liquid (broth) from the cooked vegetables. The broth can be used for making soups when needed.
  3. Mince garlic cloves.
  4. Heat oil in a pan, add chopped onion and minced garlic. Saute until they turn translucent.
  5. Add mint, coriander and chili paste, saute for 1 minute. To prepare mint, coriander and chili paste, blend about 5-6 leaves of mint, 4-5 strings of coriander leaves and one green chili using very little water. Use just 1 tablespoon of this paste and refrigerate the rest and use as needed for any other food preparation like chat, roti, gravies, pulao etc.,
  6. Now add cooked vegetables, tomato ketchup, garam masala, red chili powder, turmeric and salt. Cook on low flame until the mixture has no moisture.
  7. Add chopped coriander leaves, mix well. Set aside to cool down.

Preparing Buns:
  1. In a bowl combine water and milk.
  2. Take half the portion of it, add yeast and sugar, mix well. Let it stand for 5 to 10 mins until the mixture is frothy. Add melted butter, mix gently and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile take whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour in a mixing bowl. Add salt and mix well using a whisk or sieve.
  4. Take remaining liquid and the frothy yeast mixture in a large mixing bowl.
  5. Slowly fold in the flour to the liquid mixture, knead well. 
  6. Dust the cleaned kitchen platform with 2 teaspoons of all-purpose flour and knead it for 5-10 minutes using your palm. Make a big and a smooth dough ball.
  7. Place the dough ball in a greased bowl, smear a teaspoon of oil over the dough and cover it with a cling wrap or wet kitchen cloth.  Let it rest for an hour or two until it doubles in volume.
  8. Remove the cling wrap and place the dough on a slightly dusted kitchen platform. Divide the dough into two equal portions and each portion into 8 equal portions to yield 16 equal pieces.
  9. Grease and dust 2 large baking trays.
  10. Roll each piece into a smooth ball, flatten it slightly, stuff the vegetable mixture and bring the edges of the dough ball together to seal it well. Place stuffed balls on the baking tray such that the sealed side is at the bottom.. Repeat this for all the remaining dough balls.
  11. Brush each stuffed ball generously with whole milk and sprinkle sesame seeds on top.
  12. Bake for 20 minutes or until the buns are golden brown and are baked through. Remove from the oven and place them a cooling rack.
  13. Brush some butter on top of the buns to get the glossy crust. 
  14. Serve hot. Remaining buns can be refrigerated for upto 2 days in an air-tight container. To re-heat, do not microwave as it makes soggy. Instead warm them in the conventional oven.
Note:

  1. You can prepare buns with only all-purpose flour if you prefer that way.
  2. You can use any stuffing like potato & onion, cheese, paneer or any other variation as per your taste.


Sunday, May 28, 2017

Ricotta Cheese Fudge

Serves: 6 to 8


Ingredients:

Ricotta Cheese - 2 lbs
Sugar - 6 tablespoons
Cardamom Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Beetroot, grated - 1/4 cup
Ghee/Clarified Butter - 2 teaspoons + for greasing
Rose Essence - 3-4 drops
Almonds, slivered - 2 tablespoons
Pistachios, slivered - 2 tablespoons




Method:

  1. Grease a 8x6" (approximate size) dish or tray with some ghee. Keep aside.
  2. Puree beetroot without adding water. Pass the puree through a fine sieve and extract the juice. Keep aside.
  3. In a pan, take 1 lb ricotta cheese, 3 tablespoons sugar, cardamom powder and 1 teaspoon ghee. Mix until well combined.
  4. Place the pan on medium flame and keep stirring the mixture leaves the sides of the pan and starts to come together. Transfer the mixture into the greased dish. Using a greased spatula, level the cheese mixture.
  5. Now take 1 lb ricotta cheese, 3 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon of extracted beetroot juice, rose essence and 1 teaspoon ghee. Mix until well combined.
  6. Place the pan on medium flame and keep stirring the mixture leaves the sides of the pan and starts to come together. Transfer the mixture into the greased dish, on top of the previous layer. Using the same greased spatula, level the mixture.
  7. Immediately sprinkle slivered almonds and pistachios on top and press them gently to stick to the fudge layer.
  8. Once cooled, cut into pieces and serve. Store the remaining fudge in an air-tight container, refrigerated.